Barça compiling a list of alternatives to Jules Koundé with Chelsea on the verge of signing him

Barça compiling a list of alternatives to Jules Koundé with Chelsea on the verge of signing him

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If the Spanish club fail to sign the French centre-back, the most likely scenario is that they will settle for Azpilicueta who can also double as a centre-back

Koundé was one of the first names that Xavi put on the table in his transfer agenda, just a few months after his arrival. With versatility, ball-playing skills and physical strength, Xavi believed, and still believes, that the French player has the profile that best fits what he wants for his team. But Sevilla are a fierce negotiator and Chelsea a strong competitor, and Barça will now make their last bid for the player despite lacking the coffers to match what the British are offering. The decision will then rest on hands of the Frenchman himself.

If Koundé, as he claimed earlier, indeed prefers Barça, he will need to stand up in demand to Sevilla. Unless that happens, FC Barcelona are aware that Chelsea are likely to have the deal in their bag, as they offer a salary of 12 million euros, plus transfer fees to Sevilla of about 65 millions euros, well above what Barça can afford. The centerback prefers the option of coming to Barcelona, and has conveyed the same, but his resolve may waver over the issue of the fees, as Barça can not afford more than 6-7 million euros. Faced with this reality, the Spanish are now looking at several alternatives should they miss out on Koundé.

The most sound strategy will be to sign Azpilicueta, a deal that is already well on the way to fruition. As an added bonus, the Navarrese player is a wildcard, who can play as a full-back or as a central back, and so can occupy any position in the defensive line. Add that to the fact that Barça currently lack a left-footed central defender in their lineup, it makes complete sense for them to sign Azpilicueta.

Apart from him, several other names have also been tossed into the mix. The journalist Gerard Romero has mentioned the names of Saliba from Marseille, Skriniar from Inter Milan, Gvardiol from Leipzig, and Inigo Martinez too. Another name on the list is that of Pau Torres, a Spainish international who, along with Gvardiol and Martinez, is also left-footed. To reiterate however, the most likely option for Barça if Koundé does not arrive would be the versatile Azpilicueta.

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