Barcelona Make €63M Offer For Xavi’s Top Defensive Target: Report

Xavi Hernandez

Getty Xavi wants Jules Kounde at Barcelona.

Barcelona have made an offer for Sevilla center-back Jules Kounde who has emerged as one of coach Xavi’s top summer transfer targets along with Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

The Catalan giants have offered to pay 23 million to take Kounde on an initial loan with the deal including a mandatory purchase option of €40m (to be paid in two years), as reported by a Partido Unico.

Chiefs from Barcelona and Sevilla met on Thursday, June 21 on Zoom to “seriously” discuss the transfer. Barcelona president Joan Laporta spoke with Sevilla counterpart Pepe Castro and sporting director Monchi.

The Andalusians are not in a rush to sell Kounde but like the structure of the deal proposed by Barcelona and are thought to “see this payment option favorably.” The deal will also suit the Catalans who are continuing to work amid ongoing financial issues.

Xavi has made signing a “top centre-back a priority this summer,” as reported by Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens at ESPN. Kounde is valued at €60m and has also attracted interest from Premier League side Chelsea.

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Barcelona Also Make Lewandowski Offer

Barcelona have also made an offer for Lewandowski, according to Fabrizio Romano for the Guardian. The Catalan giants have offered €35m plus €5m in add-on for the 33-year-old, but the bid is expected to be rejected by Bayern.

Lewandowski has publicly stated on numerous occasions he wants to leave the club before his contract expires in 2023 but the Bavarian giants continue to insist he will see out the final year of his deal.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has been bullish when asked by Sky in Germany to describe what he thinks is the percentage of Lewandowski staying at the club.

“So far it’s 100 percent. July 12 is his first day at work, so I’m expecting him,” he said. “But I’m not dealing with it now because we’ve had other things to do. I think it’s a little calmed down now. We still have a lot to do.”

La Liga Chiefs Says Barca Can Make Signings

News of Barcelona making big-money bids may raise some eyebrows given the club’s well-documented financial issues. However, Barcelona are expecting to raise €600 million in income from the sale of future merchandizing and television rights.

Club members have voted to authorize Barcelona to sell off the two assets, and La Liga president Javier Tebas has said that if the deals go through it will allow the Catalans to go on a spending spree.

Tebas told Cope, “If Barça manages to activate the [financial] levers, they will be able to sign Lewandowski, Bernardo Silva and some others.”

Lewandowski has already made it clear he wants to play for Barcelona next season, and Kounde is also keen to make the switch, as reported by Mundo Deportivo. The center-back thinks a Barcelona move will boost his chances of making France’s squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year.

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