Jules Kounde has told The Mirror that Xavi was key to his decision to choose joining Barcelona over Chelsea this summer.

The Frenchman was involved in one of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer, with Chelsea looking to secure his signature to help bolster their defensive options.

The Blues were close to confirming the signing last summer, with it being expected it would be a formality for it to be completed in this window.

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander
Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

However, recent reports that Thomas Tuchel was not fully convinced on the France international could explain why they targeted players such as Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Ake first.

Nevertheless, they did return for Kounde, only to be pipped to a deal by the Catalan club at the final moments. The player himself has now stated that a talk with their manager made his decision easier.

Xavi convinced Kounde to join Barcelona

He said: “The coach Xavi is one of the great reasons why I’m here. I’ve spoken to him several times and the way he spoke was captivating. We had some good conversations, we see football in the same way.

“Now it’s a question of coming into the team, doing my best and getting as many minutes as possible.”

Barcelona Press Conference & Training
Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

Tuchel will now be hoping for names to come through the door and fast, with the Premier League season only a week away and the club still looking short at the back.

Wesley Fofana is the latest name to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, although his contract situation allows Leicester City to play hardball.

Milan Skriniar is another name the Blues have been linked with, as his agent was recently spotted following a meeting with the club. The Slovakian has the experience at the top of the game the club need, while his ability on the ball makes him a perfect option for a top Premier League side.

Related Topics

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know

More in Player Quotes