Chelsea were convinced Sevilla defender Jules Kounde was heading to Stamford Bridge, at least until Football Club Barcelona entered the race. It was an all too familiar feeling for the Blues after the Catalan club had also snatched Raphinha from right under their noses a little earlier in the summer.

It did not take long for the scenario to replay itself as Chelsea saw Kounde begin to ignore their advances and wait for Barcelona. The France international was eventually unveiled by the La Liga giants as their fifth signing of the season, much to Thomas Tuchel's disappointment.

The 23-year-old confirmed that Chelsea were an option, but made it clear that moving to the Camp Nou was always top priority. Kounde also highlighted Xavi Hernandez's role in convincing him to snub interest from elsewhere and move to the Catalan capital.

Joan Laporta
Joan Laporta introduced Jules Kounde as a Barcelona player and said the club had continued its drive to raise cash by selling a stake in media arm Barca Studio AFP / Pau BARRENA

"I had another option but I waited for Barça to reach a deal with Sevilla. It's a club with an ambitious project and I like La Liga so I made an effort as this is where I want to be," Kounde told Barcelona's official site.

"Talking to Xavi was easy and I could feel his warmth and his desire for me to sign. That was important for me," the Frenchman added. "He asked me to continue what I have been doing at Sevilla, be aggressive and bring the ball out from the back, which are my strong points."

Tuchel is desperate to strengthen his back line, especially after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen this summer. The Blues have signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, but are desperate to make further defensive additions and had identified Kounde as a top target.

The Frenchman, however, revealed that he was keen to remain in La Liga and believes his knowledge of the league will help him settle in fast at the Camp Nou. Kounde is likely to be the starting right sided centre-back for Xavi and is expected to make his debut in the Joan Gamper Trophy against Pumas UNAM on Sunday.

"I think my knowledge of La Liga will make things easier but the most important thing is to adapt to the Barça style and what the coach wants," Kounde said.

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel is the new man in charge at Chelsea Frank Augstein/POOL