Barcelona have reached an agreement with Sevilla to sign defender Jules Kounde, the Catalan club confirmed on Thursday.

Kounde, 23, will join for a fee of €55 million and sign a contract at Camp Nou until 2027, sources have told ESPN. Once Kounde passes a medical and signs his contract, he will become Barca’s sixth signing of a busy summer following the arrivals of Pablo Torre, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski.

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Premier League side Chelsea were also interested in Kounde and held talks with , but sources told ESPN the player’s preference to move to Barca proved decisive in the end.

Barca coach Xavi Hernandez was especially insistent on the signing, sources added, and had maintained regular contact with Kounde in the weeks leading up to the transfer.

Chelsea also competed with Barca for Raphinha and Lewandowski, with both players opting to move to the LaLiga side, who remain interested in signing right-back Cesar Azpilicueta from the English team.

The Blaugrana are now well-covered at centre-back, with Kounde and Christensen joining to provide competition for Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia. Kounde and Araujo can also play at right-back.

Kounde, who has 11 caps for France, signs for Barca after three years in Spain with , during which time he has made 133 appearances and scored nine goals.

He joined Sevilla in 2019 from Bordeaux for around €25m and the French club, recently relegated to Ligue 2, are due a percentage of the fee.

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