Football Club Barcelona's financial troubles are not holding them back from challenging the cash rich clubs around Europe to land their top targets. The Catalan club is expected to beat Chelsea to the signing of Jules Kounde, despite the Premier League club's capability to trump their offer.

Xavi Hernandez has made signing a top drawer defender to replace Gerard Pique a priority this summer despite landing Andreas Christensen from Chelsea. Kounde has been top of his wanted list for a number of months, and it seems his wish will be granted.

According to Catalunya Radio, Barcelona are in advanced talks with Sevilla over a move for the French centre-back. The Catalan giants are expected to offer €55-€60 million along with a player as part of the package to convince the Andalusian club to sell their prized asset.

Kounde has a release clause of €80 million in his contract, but Barcelona are hoping to bring the asking price down by offering either one of Sergino Dest or Francisco Trincao as part of the deal. The France international is expected to leave the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium this summer after coming close to departing last year.

Jules Kounde
Jules Kounde (L) has been linked with a move to Chelsea in the summer CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP

Sevilla president Jose Castro admitted that Kounde could leave the club, but made it clear that it will only be possible if interested suitors meet their demands. Chelsea were the frontrunners last summer, but have fallen behind Barcelona this time around.

"It is possible [Jules Kounde will leave] but we don't know if he will be sold or not," Castro said, as quoted on Barca Blaugranes. "This happened last year and he will only be sold if the offer is the one that the club deems enough and acceptable."

Meanwhile, Chelsea have lost Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Christensen to Barcelona. Thomas Tuchel is keen to bring in an experienced partner for Thiago Silva, and has Kounde as his top priority.

The Frenchman, however, is said to be keen to move to Camp Nou over Stamford Bridge, and has begun discussing personal terms. Barcelona are desperately trying to raise funds and slash their wage bill, with Xavi making a number of first-team stars available for transfer to aid his rebuild.

Newly-appointed Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez (right) alongside club president Joan Laporta at Camp Nou on Monday. LLUIS GENE/AFP