Jules Kounde has confessed that Barcelona manager Xavi played a huge role in his decision to choose the Blaugrana over Chelsea.
Chelsea had a full agreement reached with both Kounde and Sevilla earlier this month but the centre-back delayed a final decision to give Barcelona time to match the Blues’ offer, eventually accepting a switch to Camp Nou once the financial terms were in order.
With his transfer now all but official, Kounde spoke to Barca TV to credit Xavi for his role in concluding the lengthy saga.
“Xavi is largely responsible [for the decision],” Kounde admitted. “His speech excited me.
Listen now to 90min’s Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey, Harry Symeou & Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Cristiano Ronaldo holding talks with Man Utd over his future, Barcelona attempting to sign Jules Kounde ahead of Chelsea, Man City rewarding Phil Foden with a new contract and more. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.
If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!
“I spoke several times with him. The conversations were very fluid and he gave me the feeling that we see football in the same way. I’m going to come and hopefully do my best to play a leading role for this club.”
The defender added: “I’m very proud, grateful and excited because I have arrived at a very big club with a team that is also like that. I want to start playing with the team and join my team-mates as soon as possible.
“Sevilla are a great club but Barcelona is one more step in my career on every level, especially sporting. I will try to win as many titles as possible.”
Kounde joins a Barcelona defence that has already added Andreas Christensen from Chelsea, with Xavi now boasting a centre-back cohort which also includes Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia.