Barcelona are reportedly considering the prospect of offering Memphis Depay to Sevilla as part of the deal to sign Jules Kounde this summer.
According to Spanish journalist Gerard Romero (h/t Express), Barcelona are mulling over the possibility of using Memphis Depay as a makeweight in their efforts to sign Sevilla and France defender Jules Kounde this summer. The 23-year-old is also a transfer target for Chelsea.
Kounde has been one of the most impressive centre-backs in La Liga over the past three years. The Frenchman has become an integral part of Julen Lopetegui’s side since arriving from Bordeaux in 2019, and his performances for Los Nervionenses have helped him gather admirers from across Europe. Chelsea and Barcelona have emerged as the clubs with the most interest in signing Kounde this summer.
Chelsea’s need for a defensive revamp is no secret, with the Blues bidding adieu to Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger after their contracts expired. While they are pushing to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus and are confident of signing him, Kounde is a player that remains on the agenda at Stamford Bridge.
However, Chelsea will have to compete with Barcelona in the race to sign Kounde from Sevilla. Like Chelsea, the Blaugrana are also keen on strengthening their defensive ranks before the 2022/23 season starts. Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet and Oscar Mingueza are all expected to be shown the exit doors this summer, while Gerard Pique’s age and injury problems mean he is likely to play a reduced role next term.
So, despite signing Christensen on a free transfer, there is a need for another quality centre-back at Camp Nou, and Kounde has emerged as a priority target for Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez. But the Catalan heavyweights have so far been reluctant to meet Sevilla’s valuation of the defender, leading to the deal not moving forward.
There have been reports that Barcelona would be open to offering just €45 million for Kounde, which the Andalusians might be unwilling to accept. Hence, Barcelona are exploring the possibility of a player-plus-cash deal for the French international.
It has previously been mentioned that the Blaugrana might offer Sergino Dest as part of their offer for Kounde. But they are now considering sending Memphis Depay the other way to convince Sevilla to part ways with the defender.
Depay joined Barcelona only last summer and enjoyed a solid debut campaign. Despite injuries hampering him and the January arrivals of Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang eating into his game-time, the 28-year-old finished as Barcelona’s joint top-scorer last season with 13 goals in all competitions.
However, Barcelona are pushing to sign Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha while closing in on a contract agreement with Ousmane Dembele. So, Depay could lose his prominence in the squad. And with his contract expiring next year, the Blaugrana are now pondering whether to offer him to Sevilla as part of the deal to bring in Kounde.
Depay, for his part, wishes to continue at Barcelona and is hoping to sign a new contract. But, the Catalans seem to have different ideas over his future, and it will be interesting to see how this story develops in the coming days.