Report: £52 million signing ‘very difficult’ for Barcelona, Chelsea been close to deal for weeks

Barcelona are reportedly struggling to secure a deal for Jules Kounde, swinging the deal back in Chelsea’s favour.

According to Marca, Sevilla’s knowledge of Premier League interest could see them price the Catalan side out of the deal.

Chelsea’s interest in Kounde has been well documented, with the two clubs almost agreeing a deal last summer.

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The Blues maintained their interest, and reports suggested were back to within a few weeks of getting the deal completed. This is despite the 23-year-old requiring surgery on an injury suffered on international duty.

However, Xavi’s side were speculated to be prepared to hijack the deal at the final moments, keeping the Frenchman in La Liga for some of his prime years.

Now though, Marca have reported Barcelona will find it “very difficult” to get a deal completed, with Sevilla’s desire to complete the transfer imminently.

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They go on to say that the Catalan side are unwilling to pay the fee of around £52m for the France international, which his current side believe interest from England will help them receive.

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After a total of more than 12 months’ interest in acquiring the Frenchman, losing out on a deal at the final hour would be a shocking start to the Todd Boehly era at Stamford Bridge.

This is mainly because they are competing with a Barcelona side who are in their weakest state for nearly two decades in terms of status, exiting last season’s Champions League in the group stages.

Despite undergoing somewhat of a rebuild under Xavi in the second half of the season, being beaten to a big money signing by this current version of the club would say a lot about where Chelsea stand in terms of big players in the market.

For now, though, it doesn’t look like there is too much to worry about and there still should be a degree of confidence that Kounde will be lining up in a Chelsea shirt next season.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.