Will Barcelona beat Chelsea to the signing of Kounde? Joan Laporta answers

Chelsea and Barcelona have both been linked with a move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.

Chelsea had seen a bid rejected for Kounde before submitting a fresh £55m bid for the 23-year-old.

Jules Kounde was left out of Sevilla’s pre-season training camp in Portugal as Chelsea continue talks with Sevilla to sign the defender.

Kounde shocked everyone at his club when he ended up catching the bus to Portugal, as they’d camp in the southern city of Lagos.

Sevilla are heading to Portugal as part of their preparations for the new La Liga campaign.

Reports had claimed that Barcelona were keen on hijacking Koundé deal from Chelsea.

However, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed that Barca aren’t close to hijacking the deal from Chelsea.

In a conversation with a Barcelona supporter which was captured by Relevo, Barcelona president Joan Laporta was asked if the club are signing Kounde, to which he replied: “No, he is going to sign for Chelsea.”

Barcelona are yet to table a bid for Kounde. However, club president Joan Laporta has revealed that the club would now focus on defensive signings.

Laporta said: “We want to make a competitive team, give Xavi the tools to have a good team and I think we are on the right track.

“My dream is for Barca to become a world reference again and we are working for it. If the economy doesn’t recover it will be very difficult.

“We are achieving it, but we have to work even harder. Football doesn’t wait. We have to do it now. With [Ousmane] Dembele, Raphinha, Lewandowski, [Franck] Kessie, Auba [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang], Ferran [Torres]. I think Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff are doing a good job.

“Now it’s time to work on defense. Xavi has us focused on a series of players and I hope that the Catalans can take some more joy.”