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Disaster for Chelsea as Barcelona agree Jules Kounde deal at the eleventh hour

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Disaster for Chelsea as Barcelona agree Jules Kounde deal at the eleventh hour
Chelsea’s transfer plans could be in tatters after Barcelona struck a last-minute deal with Sevilla to sign Jules Kounde, according to reports in Spain.

The two clubs have been battling to sign the France international this summer, but Chelsea appeared to have taken a decisive step forward at the end of the week, agreeing on a fee worth around £55million.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta was even filmed telling a supporter that Kunde would be joining Chelsea, with a phone call from Thomas Tuchel convincing the defender.

But the Catalan club never gave up on signing the 23-year-old and has spoken to their Sevilla counterparts throughout the night and into the morning.

Sevilla initially did not believe Barca could match or even come close to Chelsea’s £55m offer. Still, they have verbally agreed on terms after the Blaugrana activated another financial ‘lever.’

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Barcelona always felt the Frenchman preferred a move to Camp Nou over Stamford Bridge – though he was not prepared to refuse a move to Chelsea as Raphinha did earlier this summer.

Despite Chelsea appearing to be on the verge of signing Kounde, Barca refused to give up until the paperwork was submitted and the deal was official.

Director of football Mateu Alemany spent Friday night and Saturday morning in intense negotiations with Sevilla, and Barca now believes they have won the race to sign the center-back.

Romero also claims that Barca winger Ousmane Dembele played a key role, phoning up his international team-mate and encouraging him to move to Camp Nou.

Chelsea had been highly confident signing Kounde, with personal terms agreed upon since last summer when they first tried to sign him, and Tuchel appeared to be in a buoyant mood on Friday as he spoke to the media.

Asked about Kounde, he replied with a big smile: ‘No news. If there will ever be news about Jules Kounde I will tell you.’

When it was suggested that Kounde had snubbed Barca, Tuchel again smiled and replied: ‘That’s what you say, but I will not start commenting on other players.’

If Barcelona has managed to gazump Chelsea, it would be nothing short of a disaster for the Blues, while it would also be the second time this summer they have had their transfer plans torpedoed by the Catalan side.

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