Barcelona president Joan Laporta has suggested that Chelsea have finally won the race to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
Chelsea saw their £55 million bid for Kounde accepted by Sevilla this week and the player has agreed a five-year contract.
But, Barcelona have also expressed an interest in signing Kounde and reports on Thursday claimed that the defender has decided to hold out for the Spanish club to negotiate with Sevilla.
Barcelona are yet to submit a bid to Sevilla as their transfer plans have been hindered this summer due to their financial situation.
But, Laporta now appears to have accepted defeat in Barca’s attempts to match the London club’s proposal.
In a conversation with a Barcelona fan which was captured by Relevo, Laporta was asked if the club are signing Kounde, to which he replied: ‘No, he is going to sign for Chelsea.’
Chelsea have already missed out to Barcelona once this summer after Raphinha stalled on a move to Stamford Bridge and ended up making the move to Camp Nou.
A £55m fee had been agreed between Chelsea and Leeds but Raphinha’s preference was always to join Barcelona and the Brazilian stqr waited several weeks before the deal could be completed.
Chelsea could have concerns that Kounde is using a similar style after he decided to join Sevilla’s team for their pre-season preparations in Portugal on Thursday.
And, It was even initially reported that Kounde would miss the trip to Portugal in order to finalise his move away from Sevilla.
Having signed Kalidou Koulibaly in a €40m (£34m) deal from Napoli last week, Thomas Tuchel is keen for Chelsea to sign two more central defenders.
Chelsea remain in discussions with Paris Saint-Germain over a deal for Presnel Kimpembe, while RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol is also on their shortlist.