Jules Kounde has asserted that he does not intend to leave Barcelona this summer.
90min revealed earlier this week that Barça had been shocked by reports that the Frenchman was seeking an exit due to being played out of position for much of this season, and that they were not impressed with his conduct.
However, Kounde has now refuted claims that he asked Barcelona to let him seek a new challenge only a year after signing from Sevilla.
“To make it clear, at no time did I ask to leave, and I’m not going anywhere,” the defender said on Twitter.
This statement dispels further speculation that arose when Barcelona’s director of football, Mateu Alemany, failed to quell rumours of a potential exit after Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Real Valladolid.
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Alemany at the time said: “These are internal situations that we will resolve internally.”
Head coach Xavi has since confirmed that he had discussed the matter with Kounde and asserted that they were on the same page.
“I spoke to him, yes, we were happy, and everything was clear.”I don’t see any problems. We both came out of the meeting happy,” Xavi insisted.
Kounde has played a vital role in Xavi’s team this season, helping them regain La Liga from Real Madrid.
The club will look to strengthen this summer to compete on all fronts this season, but their financial challenges and the need to comply with La Liga’s feasibility plans may necessitate the sale of key players to secure top transfer targets.
Barcelona have shown interest in Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard – another versatile French defender capable of playing at right-back and centre-back – and 90min understands they had considered offering them Kounde as part of a potential package.
Chelsea, once managed by Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel, had previously Kounde for two years before his move to Barcelona last summer. Newcastle are also admirers of the defender.
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey to discuss all the latest transfer news. On the agenda: Tottenham’s pursuit of Feyenoord manager Arne Slot, Bayern Munich’s interest in Declan Rice, Joshua Kimmich, Neymar & more!
If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!