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Barcelona Confirms Move for Sevilla, France Defender Jules Kounde

Barcelona’s summer of spending continued with a move for in-demand Sevilla defender Jules Koundé. The club confirmed the move Thursday after a week of speculation. 

The Guardian reported that Barcelona has agreed to a €50 million fee and a five-year contract for the 23-year-old defender just a week after Chelsea was convinced it had a deal in place. 

The move marks the second time this summer that Barcelona has pipped Chelsea to a top transfer target, with the Spanish side convincing Leeds winger Raphinha to ditch Stamford Bridge for Camp Nou in a €58 million move. 

Koundé, a member of the French national team, is a versatile defender who can play both center back and right back. He started 31 of his 32 La Liga appearances for Sevilla last season and made all 11 appearances for France since last June. He cited Barcelona manager Xavi as a key part in his decision to stay in La Liga instead of bolting for the Blues. 

“Xavi played a big role in me coming here,” Koundé said in a video released by the club. “I spoke several times with him and I was thrilled with his plan for the team. I believe that we see football in the same way. I want to do all I can to play the maximum number of minutes, adapt to the team, and have a leading role in this club.”

The defender marks Barcelona’s fifth signing of the summer despite a well-documented financial crisis. In total, the Spanish giants have spent approximately €153 million on Raphinha, Koundé and Robert Lewandowski in transfer fees alone while also adding Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessié on free transfers. 

Last week, Barcelona announced that it had sold off a total of 25% of its TV rights to an American investment firm to go with the investment of Spotify as its new jersey and stadium sponsorship. The club will reportedly still have to clear some of its budget before it can register any new players for the upcoming season, which begins Aug. 13. 

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