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Koundé in advanced talks with Barcelona

Chelsea’s transfer strategy this summer has suffered another set back with the news that main target Jules Koundé is in talks to sign for Barcelona.

The West London club have been tracking the French international centre-back for over a year, came close to signing him last summer, only for them to fail to meet Sevilla’s valuation of the player.

With Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen having left the club, defensive reinforcements are a priority for Thomas Tuchel in this transfer window, and Koundé was widely seen as one of the men to fill the gap behind, despite him having picked up a recent injury on international duty that requires surgery.

But with Gerard Pique told by manager Xavi that he is no longer wanted at Barcelona because his extensive business interests have become a distraction, the Catalans have identified the 23 year old defender as their first choice alternative, and are close to securing his services.

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