How Bayern's De Ligt chase threatens to ruin Barcelona bid to sign Kounde
Kounde has long been linked with a move to Camp Nou after starring for Sevilla in recent seasons.
Since moving from Bordeaux in 2019 the centre-back has been a regular in the Liga side's backline, racking up more than 130 appearances in all competitions and leading them to Europa League glory at the end of his debut season.
Barca are investing heavily at the back this summer after a disappointing 2021-22 campaign.
Andreas Christensen has already joined on a free transfer from Chelsea while the Dane's former Blues team-mate Cesar Azpilicueta has been closely linked with a move back to Spain with the Blaugrana.
Kounde would be the jewel in Barca's summer crown, though, a young centre-back of huge talent and even greater potential who can lead the side for years to come from the back.
Bayern throw spanner into the works
Events in Bavaria, however, may yet foil the Catalans' well-laid plans.
Bayern, according to reports in Germany, are making a strong approach for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt and are favourites to capture the signing of the Netherlands international.
If they succeed, Sport argues, Barca could find themselves in a sticky situation.
De Ligt is also a top target for Chelsea, who are in dire need of defensive reinforcement themselves following the exits of Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.
Should they fail to convince the centre-back to choose London over Munich the Blues would have to change course, with Kounde an obvious choice given their long-standing interest in the Sevilla man.
Sevilla would most likely prefer not to sell to a direct Liga rival, but are almost obliged to let the defender go in order to fund their own transfer acitivity.
The hope is that Chelsea's entrance into the race would push up their star's transfer value, prompting Barca to near their own asking price.
Kounde is rated at €65 million by his club, while at the present Barca have made it clear they are not willing to bid above €45m.