Barcelona

Barcelona expected to drop out of race for €80 million centre-back

Speaking to the Que Golazo Podcast, Fabrizio Romano has dropped an update on Barcelona’s pursuit of a new defender.

When asked about Xavi’s plans to reinforce his options at the back, the reputed Italian journalist shed some light on the club’s pursuit of Jules Kounde, who is believed to be one of the top targets for Xavi

However, Romano believes the operation to sign Kounde will be extremely tricky for Barcelona. The player is valued highly by Sevilla and at the age of just 23, the Spanish giants have the leverage of holding out for a hefty price tag.

Romano suggests Sevilla are looking at around €80 million, which is going to be impossible for Barcelona to match, due to the club’s ongoing financial woes.

If the Catalans are to continue with the operation to sign the Frenchman, they would have to make big sacrifices, as the club are not in a position to “spend €300 million” on the market, says the Italian.

The big sacrifice could come in the form of the sale of a star player, with Frenkie de Jong increasingly becoming a candidate in recent weeks.

Curiously, Fabrizio believes Barça are also looking at a figure of around €80-85 million for the services of the Dutchman amid interest from Manchester United. Xavi, though, remains determined not to part ways with the midfielder.

And while Barcelona might not end up signing Kounde this summer, there have been some positives in the pursuit of another quality centre-back in Kalidou Koulibaly.

With the Senegalese international’s contract expiring at the end of next season, Napoli are likely to offload their defensive asset in the summer. Barcelona are among the clubs in contention to sign the experienced defender, who is soon set to hold talks with Napoli over his future.

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