Transfer Talk: Jules Kounde open to Barcelona exit amid Chelsea interest

The summer transfer window may not be open yet in Europe, but teams are getting ready for it, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Kounde could leave amid Chelsea interest

Jules Kounde would be willing to leave Barcelona if there is an agreement with all parties involved, as Chelsea are showing interest, according to Diario Sport.

The 24-year-old isn’t pleased that Xavi Hernandez has prioritised using him at right-back, rather than his natural position of centre-back, while he is also aware that Inigo Martinezs pending arrival as a free agent from Athletic Club would see him play on the right more often.

Barcelona will now assess the situation to see whether or not Kounde — who has made 26 starts for the LaLiga champions this season — will eventually change his mind.

If the France international does leave, Barcelona are aware that Chelsea may offer a transfer fee of more than €55 million, which could make the move of benefit to the Blaugrana.

Kounde’s departure would also lead to Barca bringing in a top-level right-back, with Villarreal‘s Juan Foyth having been previously linked.

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09.56 BST: Arsenal are interested in pursuing a deal for Ilkay Gundogan if the midfielder fails to agree terms with Manchester City, sources have told ESPN.

The 32-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has so far resisted City’s attempts to tie him to fresh terms. Sources have told ESPN that City are so far willing to offer only a one-year extension, while Barcelona are prepared to hand him a two-year deal.

It is unclear at this stage what terms Arsenal are ready to put on the table but they are likely to have space in the squad for an experienced player with Granit Xhaka in talks to join Bayer Leverkusen in a deal worth around €15m.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants to sign two central midfielders this summer with West Ham’s Declan Rice and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo on their shortlist. However, Gundogan would be a far cheaper option and Arteta, a player he worked with during his three years at City as a coach under Pep Guardiola.

09.23 BST: Napoli are prepared to transfer centre-back Kim Min-Jae and striker Victor Osimhen if irresistible offers are made this summer, according to Il Mattino.

Both players have been crucial for Napoli to win the Serie A title this season and have a contract with the Italian outfit until June 2025.

Manchester United are reportedly ready to make a bid for Kim before his €60m release clause becomes active on July 1 with Paris Saint-Germain also interested in signing the South Korea international.

Bringing a centre-forward is United’s biggest priority this summer and the Red Devils are also interested in Osimhen. Napoli will allow the Nigeria international to leave if the €160m asking price is met. Osimhen, who has scored 28 goals in 37 appearances for Napoli this season across all competitions, is keen to play in the Premier League. However, he is also a target of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Napoli, meanwhile, have no intention to place Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Slovakian midfielder Stanislav Lobotka on the transfer list despite both players having plenty of offers after strong performances this season.

08.39 BST: Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka has signed a new long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium, the club announced on Tuesday.

ESPN reported in February that the 21-year-old was close to agreeing terms with Arsenal after they triggered an option at the turn of the year to extend his existing agreement through to 2024.

Saka has enjoyed an impressive campaign and played a key role in helping Arsenal challenge eventual Premier League champions Manchester City for the majority of the season.

The England international has contributed with 14 goals and 11 assists in all competitions this season.

Saka’s performances saw him finish second behind City striker Erling Haaland in the prestigious Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year award.

The forward is the latest Arsenal player to commit his long-term future to the club after goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale signed a new deal last week.

08.00 BST: Roma manager Jose Mourinho has criticised the timing of the decision to hit Juventus with a fresh 10-point penalty on Monday by an Italian court.

The latest punishment for false accounting in the club’s transfer dealings dropped Juventus from second spot in Serie A to seventh — hampering their chances of qualifying for next year’s Champions League.

Following Roma’s 2-2 draw with Salernitana on Monday, Mourinho hit out after learning about the verdict.

“It’s a joke to know this with two games remaining,” he told DAZN. “For us and everyone, even for Juventus. Our approach would have been different if we had known before the games with Monza and Bologna.

“I am sorry for [Massimiliano] Allegri and his players, but at the league level, I have to say that it changes things a little.”



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PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

Christian Falk has reported that Bayern Munich‘s efforts to sign a striker have resulted in the Bundesliga club looking at Manchester City‘s Julian Alvarez, Eintracht Frankfurt‘s Randal Kolo Muani and Tottenham Hotspur‘s Harry Kane. In another tweet, Falk adds that their midfield search has brought them to consider JuventusAdrien Rabiot, Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic and West Ham United‘s Declan Rice.

– Chelsea are still pushing to sign Napoli striker Victor Osimhen but will have to offload players to be able to sign the 24-year-old, as reported by Florian Plettenberg. Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis wants at least €150m for the prolific goal scorer’s transfer, which could hinder the Blues due to their lack of Champions League football next season.

Paris Saint-Germain and clubs from the Premier League are monitoring the situation of Bayern Munich attacking midfielder Jamal Musiala, according to Ekrem Konur. However, the Bavarian giants will not be willing to listen to offers to sign the 20-year-old and plan to extend his contract.

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have both identified Brighton & Hove Albion striker Evan Ferguson as a long-term option, according to Sky Sports, which adds that Spurs could look to make a move for the 18-year-old in 2024. In addition, Manchester City are keeping tabs on Ferguson if Erling Haaland departs at any stage.

AC Milan have held talks with River Plate over the transfer of 17-year-old forward Claudio Echeverri, according to Calciomercato. There is also strong interest from Real Madrid — who plan to sign Echeverri, loan him back to River, and then have him play for the reserve Castilla team for a year.

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