Former Chelsea midfielder reacts to Barcelona’s decision to hijack Chelsea transfer target

Jules Kounde
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Chelsea were believed to be closing in on a deal for Jules Kounde from Sevilla, but Barcelona seem to have long hijacked the deal.

Former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet has admitted Chelsea would be missing out on a top player in Kounde, who has developed his game since age 19.

Before joining Sevilla, Kounde impressed at French club Bordeaux and played under former Chelsea midfielder Poyet, who seems to have so much confidence in the France international.

Asked if Kounde was ready to join a club of the stature of Barcelona, Poyet told SPORT: ‘Yes, without a doubt.

“At the age of 19 he made his debut in a club with a long history like Bordeaux. And he manages to get a place in the team.

“He develops under all the coaches and then at Sevilla he has shown a great level. He has proven himself in a club that had been competing for great things and has excelled, has won titles and has consolidated.

“Also, he is at a perfect age. He is a player who always seeks to improve, he asked to do specific jobs. With his work and his performance he showed that he deserved to play.”

The former Chelsea midfielder added: “Barcelona’s style suits him perfectly. At Barça there is always a lot of ground behind the defence but Jules is very powerful and quick to correct if necessary.

“Xavi wants centre-backs who are daring with the ball, who can break lines. I asked him to join the midfield to create problems for the opposition and this is what he does.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea have now turned attention to Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana.