Klopp in dreamland as Barcelona say yes to disgruntled star’s exit; Liverpool thunder in with bid
Barcelona have been rocked by a player’s request to leave so soon after signing, and Liverpool have opened the bidding for the star who’ll be allowed to leave for £52m, per a report.
Despite their well-documented financial strife, Barcelona supplemented a series of free agent signings with several expensive captures last summer.
The likes of Jules Kounde, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski all arrived for sizeable sums. However, according to the Daily Mail, France international Kounde wants out after just one season.
The newspaper state the former Sevilla star, 24, is unhappy at repeatedly being played out of position by Barca boss Xavi.
Kounde is a centre-half by trade, though has spent the bulk of the season deputising at right-back. Per the report, Kounde has had enough and has ‘stunned Nou Camp bosses by telling them he wants to leave’.
Kounde was a £46m signing and while it’s stated Barcelona are open to cashing in, they will push to make a profit. To that end, it’s stated a £52m bid will be enough to seal a deal.
Kounde was the subject of Chelsea bids before joining Barcelona and has more recently been linked with Man Utd and Newcastle.
But per the Mail, it’s Liverpool who have jumped the queue and their move is being driven by Jurgen Klopp.
Indeed, the German boss is labelled ‘eager’ to bring Kounde to Anfield where he’ll compete with Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk for a starting berth at centre-back.
Liverpool have reportedly ‘made an offer’, though it’s not stated how much their proposal is worth.
In any case, with Barcelona making clear a £52m bid will be enough, Liverpool know exactly where they stand in negotiations.
In encouraging news for the Reds, it’s also claimed their failure to qualify for next year’s Champions League won’t dissuade Kounde from joining. In the Mail’s words, ‘Kounde could still be tempted by the prospect of playing for the club’.
Midfield arrivals are expected to dominate the scene at Anfield this summer, though Fabrizio Romano did previously confirm a new centre-half and back-up right-back are wanted.
Kounde could conceivably kill two birds with one stone in that regard, though Klopp may have to tread carefully if asking Kounde to cover at right-back given his dissatisfaction at being asked to do so in Spain.