Barcelona transfer aftermath could allow Chelsea to walk away with major target for free

Jules Kounde, Barcelona, August 2022.

There is still a chance that Chelsea could end up with Jules Kounde this summer, thanks to registration issues which mean he could leave Barcelona for free.

Chelsea were interested in completing the snare of Kounde for a good while. Indeed, for much of the summer they were linked with the transfer.

In fact, in July, the Blues were said to have agreed a fee with Sevilla for the defender, before pulling out. Reports stated there were “doubts” at Chelsea over whether they needed the star

That left Barcelona able to swoop, and complete the signing of the centre-back.

Chelsea’s two defensive signings this window have been Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella. Indeed, they lost Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger on free transfers after the end of last season.

It seems there may be room for another addition to the centre of the defence, though. Trevoh Chalobah will reportedly be allowed to leave on loan, and Malang Sarr has gone to Monaco for the season.

In an interesting turn of events, it seems that defensive signing could still be Kounde.

Spanish outlet Cadena SER reports that there is a clause in the Frenchman’s contract, stating he can move on for free if not registered by 31st August.

Barcelona have had issues with registering players, after being blocked from doing so by La Liga. While some summer signings have been able to play, Kounde was not in the squad for Barca’s league opener.

Indeed, Barca need to free up ‘salary mass’ after their big spending this summer. Chelsea could swoop if the situation is not rectified before September.

Chelsea could have last laugh in Kounde saga

Should Barcelona not be able to register Kounde, it could leave the door wide open for Chelsea. That would give them the last laugh, after Barca have been a thorn in their side throughout the transfer window.

Chelsea were tracking former Leeds United star Raphinha, and had made a bid for the star. However, they were beaten to the transfer by Barcelona.

Then, there was of course the Kounde deal, which La Blaugrana got over the line after interest from Chelsea.

Crucially, though, Chelsea would be getting a top player, who they have tracked for months, for free. There is no guarantee that he would join the Blues if he leaves Barcelona, but given their lengthy interest, it would make sense.