Xavi is planning a complete defensive overhaul ahead of next season, and is ready to let go of his most experienced centre-back. The Spanish coach wants Jules Kounde as a priority, and he wants the highy-rated Frenchman to replace Gerard Pique in the starting XI.

Barcelona have signed Andreas Christensen from Chelsea on a free transfer, and he will join Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia as Xavi's current choices at centre-back. Pique made 39 appearances in all competitions for the club last season, but Xavi is not counting on him for the upcoming campaign.

The Catalan club's manager is said to have spoken to his former teammate, and the main conversation was about his behaviour off the field rather than on it. Xavi wants a peaceful resolution but Pique is not keen to leave the club where he has a contract until 2024.

Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique AFP / Josep LAGO

Barcelona already owe the veteran defender close to €40 million in deferred payments, and are keen for him to reach a compromise if he decides to leave the club. Xavi is unsure if he can count on Pique for next season owing to his injuries and off-field commitments.

According to Sport, Xavi is keen to sign a long-term replacement for Pique this summer. The Spaniard is targeting a young defender that can grow with the team, and Sevilla's Kounde is top of his wanted list.

The France international has a contract until 2024 with the Andalusian club, but is open to a move this summer. Kounde came close to leaving last summer, but Chelsea baulked at Sevilla insisting they meet his €80 million release clause.

Sevilla are ready to compromise this summer, and are willing to accept €60 million for the centre-back. Barcelona are struggling financially and will find it hard to match their valuation, but are expected to offer players as part of their offer to bring down the asking price.

Chelsea are again in the market for a centre-back and are still on Kounde's trail. Thomas Tuchel has made signing him a priority, and the Blues have the resources to meet Sevilla's asking price while also being able to offer a more lucrative wage package to the player.

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