Fabrizio Romano claims Barcelona feel pressure after Chelsea 'reactivate' contact for centre-back

Barcelona are under pressure in their pursuit of Sevilla star Jules Kounde as Chelsea restart talks for the defender, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Having reportedly shifted their attention to Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt and eventually signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, Chelsea are said to be looking to sign a second centre-back this summer.

Romano claims Chelsea are working on two potential targets at the moment; Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe and Kounde, whom they have been linked with for over a year.

Chelsea’s pursuit of Kounde is rather interesting because the player reportedly agreed personal terms with the player a year ago but failed to reach an agreement with Sevilla over transfer fees.

However, Romano suggests that Barcelona are currently in pole position to sign the France international, although the Spanish club are aware of Chelsea’s reignited interest.

Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

“Kounde is the next big target for Barcelona,” the Italian transfer expert said on his YouTube channel.

“They know that Kounde would be keen on the move, but Barcelona want to be fast on the deal with Sevilla because they know Chelsea are reactivating contact.

“They [Chelsea] are exploring the possibility [of signing Kounde] again after wanting the player one year ago and he was really close [to joining].

“Now Chelsea are in contact again and preparing new discussions with his agent.”

Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

An earlier report from Spanish outlet Marca claims that Sevilla have set a price of €60million (£51m) for the 23-year-old.

It remains unclear whether Chelsea are prepared to pay the asking price, although, given the competition, Sevilla are clearly in a favourable negotiation position.

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.