Barca pinch another player off Chelsea as Kounde explains reasons for snubbing Blues

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Chelsea’s pursuit of Jules Kounde is over with Barcelona announcing they’ve reached an agreement in principle to sign the sought-after defender.

The deal, understood to be setting Barca back £51million, will be completed subject to 23-year-old Kounde passing his medical and signing the contract.

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Kounde looked set to join Chelsea but has changed his mind in favour of a move to Barca

The Blues, who they have been tracking for the past year, agreed a £55million.

However, their move for Kounde alerted Barca into reigniting their interest in the player.

“The coach, Xavi, is one of the big reasons why I am here, too,” he explained. “I spoke with him several times. The way he spoke was captivating.

“We had some good conversations and we see football in the same way. Now it’s a question of coming into the team, settling in and giving my all to have as many minutes as possible and an important role in the side.”

He will become the latest addition of a crazy window for Barca who, despite having major financial problems, have completed deals for former Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Franck Kessie.

Their ability to spend big but failure to pay wages in full of current players has raised questions about the way the club is run, with Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong understood to be owed £17million.

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Neville has aimed a dig at Barca and warning to their newest player

Twitter @GNEV2

Neville has aimed a dig at Barca and warning to their newest player


Gary Neville, who’s urged De Jong to consider legal action with Barca, aimed a further dig at the club following the Kounde announcement.

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Does he know he doesn’t get paid his full wages if they want rid of him??” Neville tweeted.

This is yet another blow for Chelsea in the transfer window with the west London club also taking an interest in Raphinha and Lewandowski before Barca came calling.

Meanwhile, Christensen ran down his contract at Stamford Bridge to join the LaLiga giants, while Antonio Rudiger joined Real Madrid on a free.

It’s been reported Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso could go to the Camp Nou.

Chelsea have enjoyed some success in the transfer window, wrapping up deals for Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly from Manchester City and Napoli respectively.

This is the last thing Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel needs

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This is the last thing Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel needs

But former Blues player Tony Cascarino is concerned about how things are going at his former club.

“So much uncertainty within that squad. Take Timo Werner, who has made it quite clear he’d like to move on and play elsewhere as he wants more game time ahead of the World Cup.

“That’s littered in Chelsea’s squad, way too many.

“You also have to add in departures at the top end of the club. That doesn’t always affect what happens on the field, but from Bruce Buck to Marina to Petr Cech, there’s too much change at Chelsea.

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“It’s becoming a bit messy.”

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