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Jules Kounde makes honest Chelsea & Thomas Tuchel admission amid Barcelona transfer decision

Matthew Debono

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Jules Kounde makes honest Chelsea & Thomas Tuchel admission amid Barcelona transfer decision

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Jules Kounde has opened up on the conversations he had with Thomas Tuchel, now former Chelsea head coach, and his decision to snub a move in order to join Barcelona. 

The 23-year-old was a long-term transfer target for Chelsea and was on the verge of moving to England in the summer of 2021, but the Blues failed to land the France international as Sevilla changed the goalposts at the late stages of the summer window.

It left Kounde, Tuchel and Chelsea all disappointed once the market had closed after a transfer failed to materialised.

Tuchel admitted last September: "It was clear we tried for Kounde and Saul and it was very, very late but it was a very, very smooth transfer window because I had full concentration on training and on my team.”

Jules Kounde playing for FC Barcelona vs UNAM Pumas. (Alamy)
Jules Kounde playing for FC Barcelona vs UNAM Pumas. (Alamy)

Fast forward less than 12 months later and following the defensive departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers, Kounde was once again a target for Chelsea. 

But as the weeks passed after the 2022 summer window opened, Chelsea had yet to make a concrete move for Kounde. 

It allowed Barcelona to swoop in to express their interest and Chelsea entered a transfer battle to sign the Sevilla defender. 

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Tuchel was unsure of Kounde but held talks with him, as did Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez, which led to Kounde making his final decision. 

His final decision was Barcelona, to stay in Spain, instead of making the expected move to Stamford Bridge.

The 23-year-old explained the move to the huge club as he eyed new titles despite Chelsea's interest.

Kounde told L’Equipe: “First, I come to a huge club, which has known good times and which, lately, has had less.

“I come to a project that I would not call reconstruction, because we already have a competitive team, but rather, being upturned.

Jules Kounde playing for Barcelona. (Alamy)
Jules Kounde playing for Barcelona. (Alamy)

“I was interested in being part of this new wave, in search of titles, and to put Barça back where it has always been, among the best clubs. 

“Then there was the conversation with the coach (Xavi). We talked about football, mainly.

"I felt a real confidence from him, that he had a real knowledge of myself, my game and my qualities.

“I spoke with Tuchel and I also felt that he wanted me to come but I simply preferred Xavi's speech.”


Topics: Jules Kounde, Barcelona, Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea, Xavi, Transfers

Matthew Debono
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