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Barcelona ‘must raise £17m to register Jules Kounde’

Barcelona ‘must raise £17m to register Jules Kounde’

Barcelona are required to raise €20m (£17m) in order to register summer signing Jules Kounde in time for their next game, according to a report.

The 23-year-old joined the Catalan giants from Sevilla on July 29 for a fee of around €50m (£42.25m), penning a five-year contract at Camp Nou.

However, due to Barca’s well-documented financial problems, the club are currently unable to register Kounde, who has missed their opening two La Liga fixtures of the new season.

Summer signings Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski have all been registered, while Kounde is still waiting to make his competitive debut.

According to AS, Barcelona will need to raise £17m to register Kounde before the transfer window shuts on September 1.

Barcelona centre-back Jules Kounde pictured on August 1, 2022© Reuters

The report adds that there are up to five players who Barca are looking to offload, including striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Catalan giants are allegedly in advanced talks with Chelsea over a permanent deal for the 33-year-old, who only moved to Camp Nou in January on a free transfer from Arsenal.

A recent report claims that a fee between £15m and £25m is being discussed between both Barca and Chelsea, with the latter looking to include Marcos Alonso in a player-plus-cash deal, while the former would prefer to receive a straight cash sum.

Memphis Depay is another forward who could be on the move this summer, with Serie A giants Juventus expressing their interest in the 28-year-old.

Speaking at a press conference prior to Barcelona’s 4-1 away win at Real Sociedad on Sunday, Xavi hinted that both Aubameyang and Depay are among a number of players who could depart the club in the final 10 days of the window.

“The transfer market ends on [September 1] and we don’t know what will happen. Auba and Memphis are still here, so tomorrow we will use them. But the priority is to register Kounde,” Xavi told reporters.

Barcelona boss Xavi on August 13, 2022© Reuters

Meanwhile, defender Samuel Umtiti is reportedly closing in on a move to Italian side Lecce, with the 28-year-old Frenchman undergoing his medical ahead of a season-long loan move.

The futures of Martin Braithwaite and Sergino Dest, however, remain up in the air, with Barca allegedly keen to offload both players who would prefer to stay at Camp Nou.

Braithwaite, 31, has been linked with a potential switch to Mallorca, while Dest, 21, has previously attracted interest from Manchester United and Chelsea.

“It doesn’t bother me that players don’t want to leave, everyone looks to their future; it bothers me not being able to have Kounde,” Xavi added.

“Kounde is a great leader and a great player. Hopefully he shows it soon. He has trained very well, I see him in good spirits, but we need to sell players to be able to register him.”

Barcelona are scheduled to face Manchester City in a charity friendly at Camp Nou on Wednesday, before returning to La Liga action on Sunday, with Real Valladolid visiting Catalonia.

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