One of the best aspects of this current iteration of FC Barcelona this season was their defense and their brilliant defensive record. Xavi’s men were almost invincible in this season’s league campaign and were an absolute nightmare to overcome for opposition attacks. However, a key component of said defense may be set to leave the club entirely.
As per a recent report from Relevo journalist Toni Juanmarti, 24-year-old French defender Jules Kounde has expressed his desire to potentially be somewhere else away from FC Barcelona next season. The defender has given his approval to the club to assess and evaluate any potential offers that may arrive for him over the summer transfer window.
However, as per Juanmarti, it must be remembered that this is by no means a definitive call for a transfer by Jules Kounde. The player has simply asked the club to welcome offers that gives him access to potentially go elsewhere should his current “situation” remain unsolved and he believes it best to look elsewhere in terms of his future.
This “situation” of his, reportedly, is believed to be his discomfort at being placed at the right-back position despite having expressed that he prefers to play as a central defender.
Originally brought in with the promise of becoming a central pairing with Ronald Araujo, it was the clear versatility of Kounde himself that led to Xavi deploying him as a right-back due to there being a lack of quality in said position.
Out of the 38 matches he has played this season, the Frenchman has been deployed at right-back in 21 of those games, around 55% of the total games he has taken part in. The potential arrival of a right-back may solve this problem though as per speculation.
The arrival of Inigo Martinez, another central defender, may have had something to do with this development as well possibly.
While this has been communicated to Xavi Hernandez and the Frenchman has made his stance on it quite clear, the current head coach is unwilling to let go of the defender as per Javi Miguel of Diario AS, given how much the Spaniard depends on him for next season and his faith in the qualities of the defender.
Yet, on the other hand, the club also realizes that the value and market of the player has only increased since he has arrived at FC Barcelona, and should they choose to sell him, they could potentially raise substantial funds for a player that they ideally would like to retain.
The current reported price under which FC Barcelona would even consider letting go of the Frenchman is around €90 million.