What Barcelona have told Chelsea target Jules Kounde after new Frenkie de Jong plea

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Barcelona have asked Sevilla defender and reported Chelsea target Jules Kounde to be patient as they step up their efforts to sell Frenkie de Jong in order to fund their proposed move for his services, according to reports. Kounde looks set to leave Sevilla between now and the start of next season and has been heavily linked with a big-money switch to Barcelona for the best part of the last 12 months.

A transfer fee has already been agreed between the two clubs but the Catalan giants are yet to submit a formal bid due to their need to sell players before they can make any new signings. They have since asked Kounde to sit tight so they can convince De Jong to leave in order to free up some much-needed funds, according to The Independent.

Kounde initially looked set to join Chelsea, who tried to sign him last summer to no avail before returning to the table over the last few weeks. The Frenchman is now expected to choose Barcelona and those in power at the Nou Camp are aiming to buy some extra time to wrap up the deal by taking advantage of his preference for a move to Spain.

Barcelona’s plan of action is to accelerate the expected departure of De Jong, who has been fiercely targeted by Manchester United since the end of last season. The Red Devils are said to have agreed terms at club level but are being left frustrated by the player’s stance against leaving Barcelona, where he wants to stay for the foreseeable future.

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De Jong has reportedly been informed that Barcelona ‘need’ him to accept a move away but he remains determined to snub United’s advances as things stand. He is also owed around £13.7m in basic unpaid wages by his current employers as well as another £3.4m in waived bonuses after deferring a number of payments at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barcelona are said to have made an initial offer to try and speed up proceedings with regards to De Jong’s proposed move to United, who are set to pay a fee in the region of £70m in exchange for his signature. However, a solution is yet to be found and the Spanish heavyweights are expected to halt their pursuit of Kounde until a compromise is finally reached.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Kounde’s situation will allow Chelsea to regain the upper hand in their efforts to bring him to Stamford Bridge ahead of Barcelona this summer. The Blues are believed to be in the market for at least one additional central defender following the capture of long-term target Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli earlier this month.

Chelsea are thought to have a number of other irons in the fire, though, which suggests that missing out on Kounde would not be a catastrophic blow for those in west London. Preliminary talks over a move for Paris Saint-Germain stalwart Presnel Kimpembe were said to have been initiated last week, while Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan has also been mentioned in connection with a potential move to Chelsea as of late.

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