Barça reactivates the option of central Koundé

Xavi Hernández wants a ‘top’ central defender to reinforce the defense for next season. The reason is not because the coaches do not trust Andreas Christensen, Chelsea’s Danish central defender who has already been signed and who the club will announce when the season ends, but he does not have all the guarantees that Gerard Piqué can last the whole seasontaking into account that he has a chronic adductor injury and that he could spend the whole year going in and out of the calls, by virtue of how he endures the pain and discomfort.

Faced with such a situation, the technical secretariat is probing the market in search of a powerful and physical central defender who can withstand the pressure of playing for Barcelona. There are three strong candidates on the list. We have already explained two of them at AS: one is the Milan central defender, Alessio Romagnoli, whose contract ends this summer, and the other, the Napoli defender, Kalidou Koubaily, who has one more year on his contract.

A third has been added to this pair of candidates in recent weeks: Sevilla’s French central defender, Jules Koundé. In fact, as AS has learned, it is not the first time that Barcelona is interested in the defender, but this time the contacts are not only with the player, but also with the club. The technicians value his physical power, forcefulness, good relationship with the goal and ability to get the ball neatly, in addition to his versatility, being able to play as a right back, so he would be the ideal natural replacement for Piqué.

Photo the Koundé

From the Seville club they are aware that they will not be able to retain the player, who has several ‘girlfriends’ in the Premier, although for now the clause of 90 million euros has pushed back any formal offer. In any case, the Blaugrana club has a factor in its favour, apart from the player’s obvious interest in signing for the project led by Xavi, which is the possibility of lowering the price of the operation with a player that would interest the sports director Monchi, such as Sergiño Dest.

Koundé, whose contract ends in 2024, arrived at Sevilla in the summer of 2019, after paying the Seville club 25 million to French Bordeaux. Hence, the player is already practically amortized and more so if the Andalusian entity achieves an important transfer. In addition, the center-back has been pressing Sevilla for more than a year to accept any of the offers that have arrived at their offices.

The player’s salary would not be a problem either to close the operation: the Frenchman barely earns 2.5 million euros per season, so he could see his emoluments doubled if he accepts the Blaugrana offer.

What is clear is that, whatever happens, this summer Koundé’s name will be in all pools and Barcelona wants to be in pole positionin case you can fish in a troubled river.