Sevilla drop huge hint Jules Kounde is set to leave as Chelsea and Barcelona circle

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Sevilla have dropped a huge hint that Chelsea and Barcelona target Jules Kounde is set to leave this summer after they seemingly removed the centre-back’s shirt from the club’s official store. The Frenchman has long been linked with a move away from the La Liga side and it seems increasingly inevitable that transfer will transpire over the coming weeks.

Kounde was expected to be the first arrival of the Todd Boehly era at Chelsea as a deal appear imminent earlier in the summer. However, talk of a move to Stamford Bridge has since subsided somewhat as the Blues have focused their efforts on securing other targets.

Speculation over the defender’s exit this summer has been stoked back up over recent days amid increased interest from Barcelona and now Sevilla have themselves added fuel to suggestions of Kounde’s impending exit. An image circling on social media has shown that the in-demand defender’s number 23 shirt has been removed from the club’s official store.

The jersey’s withdrawal is the biggest hint yet that the centre-back will soon be on the move. And it seems Chelsea and Barcelona are set to go head-to-head over the 23-year-old.

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Kounde was thought to be desperate to move to Stamford Bridge last summer, however, Chelsea’s refusal to activate the defender’s £67million release clause saw a proposed transfer fall through. Having lost both Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona on free transfer earlier in the window, Thomas Tuchel has made bolstering his backline a priority this summer and Kounde very much remains a target.

While Chelsea are understood to be closing on a deal for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, discussions with Manchester City over Nathan Ake have today broken down. That twist is now expected to see the Blues up their efforts to sign Kounde, but Barcelona have not given up hope of landing the 11-time French international themselves.

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Though the cash-strapped Catalan club’s crippling financial crisis is expected to make completing a transfer for Kounde difficult, the Spanish giants remain interested and are even said to be willing to include Memphis Depay or Sergino Dest as makeweights within a potential deal.

Sevilla appear resigned to losing Kounde this summer and are thought to be looking to offload the centre-back in the current window in order to help rebalance the club’s books. Tottenham and Newcastle have also emerged as other possible destinations for the defender, who can play on the right of the back three or as a wing-back.

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