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Transfer Talk: Kounde snubbing Premier League in favour of Barcelona


The summer transfer window is approaching, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Kounde wants Barca move over Premier League

Mundo Deportivo reports that 23-year-old Jules Kounde has told Sevilla that he would prefer to join the Barcelona this summer over a move to Premier League clubs Chelsea or Newcastle United.

That’s a major blow in particular for Chelsea, who were pursuing the Frenchman after having already lost both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers.

The centre-back is reportedly Xavi Hernandez’s first choice to reinforce the defensive line, alongside the aforementioned Christensen, who is expected to make his way to the Camp Nou in the coming weeks. Club legend Gerard Pique is not part of the Barca manager’s plans for next season.

Despite the two English clubs willing to pay Kounde’s €90 million release clause, Sevilla would reportedly accept around €65m to €70m for the French international to leave for his preferred destination, as the Catalan side reportedly prepare a swap proposal which includes 21-year-old full-back Sergino Dest.

However, any transfer could still be in doubt as Kounde recently underwent minor surgery following an injury while playing for France, which will keep him on the sidelines for at least a month.

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PAPER GOSSIP

– West Ham United are interested in Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse, according to The Mirror. The 27-year-old England international had an impressive Premier League campaign, achieving a personal best of 10 goals and five assists in 26 league appearances. David Moyes is reportedly looking to add depth to the Hammers midfield for next season with top-flight ready players and the dead ball specialist is considered a proven talent.

– Internazionale have had €5m loan deal for Romelu Lukaku rejected by Chelsea, reports Fabrizio Romano. After the two sides opened official negotiations over the 29-year-old on Wednesday, Inter saw their opening bid declined.

Following a disappointing season for the Blues, which saw the £97.5m club-record signing manage just eight league goals, the striker is set for move away from Stamford Bridge this summer. However, the Belgium international is determined on re-join the Nerazzurri and so talks for the striker will continue this week.

– Another from Fabrizio Romano here, who reports that Andreas Pereira is set to return to Manchester United following a season-long loan with Flamengo. The 26-year-old will return to Old Trafford ahead of preseason, with the Brazilian side unwilling to exercise their €10.5m option to keep the midfielder permanently. Pereira could still be set to leave the Red Devils this summer, with just one year left on his contract and reportedly not part of Erik ten Hag’s plans for next season.

– Bournemouth are close to completing a deal with Ryan Fredericks as part of a triple transfer swoop, reports The Sun. The 29-year-old is available on a free transfer, with his contract at West Ham expiring at the end of this month, after making 77 appearances in four-years for the Hammers.

Scott Parker’s side is also set to sign 27-year-old midfielder Joe Rothwell, who is out of a deal this summer, while 23-year-old midfielder Marcus Tavernier has just one year left on his deal with Middlesbrough and is reportedly available to join the Cherries for a lower fee.

– Fiorentina are preparing a €10m opening bid for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Dodo, writes Sky Sports. The 23-year-old Brazilian right-back, who made 26 appearances for the Ukrainian side this season, has already been linked to Barcelona as the heir to departing Dani Alves. Fiorentina are also looking to replace Alvaro Odriozola, as the 26-year-old defender will return to Real Madrid this summer following a season-long loan.





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