president Joan Laporta has indicated that Barcelona are ready to beat in the race to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
Chelsea came close to signing the France international last summer .
Kounda has remained on Chelsea’s radar but ’s side .
Barcelona are also interested in Kounde but have made a slow start to their summer transfer business due to their financial restrictions.
Laporta, however, has now suggested that Barcelona will step up their efforts next week with Leeds United winger Raphinha and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski also keen to make the move to Camp Nou.
When asked about a potential deal for Kounde, Laporta told COPE: ‘Talk to Mateu [Alemany, Barca’s director of football] about this. We have many in the pipeline.
‘We think we will activate the second lever next week.
‘When we have this there are a number of players who want to come and we are interested in them.’
Laporta also suggested that Raphinha is waiting on a move to Barca, despite Chelsea already agreeing a £55m fee with Leeds this week.
‘We’ve spoken to Leeds, I don’t think they will be offended. We have communication and we have spoken personally,’ Laporta said.
‘What happens is that there are other clubs that want Raphinha and are making their proposals. He wants to come.’
, ., and .