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Despite the high likelihood that they will be losing Georginio Wijnaldum to PSG, a deal for Memphis Depay is said to be nearing the finish line.
A busy summer ahead for Barcelona following poor end to last season.
The club has now been linked with two players that could fortify both their defense and midfield.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona apparently have Sevilla center-back Jules Kounde on their radar.
The 22-year-old is wanted not only because of his youth but his progression this season as well as his familiarity with the league. The downside is they are not the only ones after the French center-back.
There has been plenty of interest from Real Madrid and the Premier League. Manchester City already previously had an offer of €55 million turned down.
Sevilla are said to be holding firm on clubs paying the player’s €80 million release clause.
At the moment, Barcelona are only able to offer a smaller fee but willing to include a player or two in exchange.
The second player tied with a move to the Catalan giants is Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz. It’s not the first time they’ve been linked with the former Real Betis man. The obstacle is that Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is tough to negotiate with.
Barcelona turned their attention to Ruiz after the debacle with Wijnaldum. Similar to the Kounde interest, prying him away from Napoli won’t be easy.
What is playing in their favor, however, is the fact that the Italian side is not playing Champions League football next season. According to Sport, Ruiz’s price tag is around €50 million, which Barcelona are in no position to afford unless they sell some of their players.
They are aware that it is almost impossible to reach a deal where a player exchange would be involved. It’s either they pay the fee or don’t even bother making an offer.
Kounde would be a definite upgrade from the center-backs the club has at the moment. At the moment, he is a safer bet than Ruiz.
But it is all speculation at this point. Joan Laporta and his board know who they want and what they can spend. There is no doubt they are going to make an effort but their financial capability will continue to hamstrung them all summer.