Barcelona may have landed centre-back Andreas Christensen from Chelsea on a free transfer, but Xavi Hernandez remains keen to further strengthen his backline in the summer. The Catalan club have reignited their interest in Sevilla's Jules Kounde, who was a target during the 2021 transfer window.

Xavi currently has a host of central defenders at his disposal with Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique his most preferred options. The likes of Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti are expected to be made available for transfer once the ongoing season concludes.

Christensen will arrive to fill the void, and Xavi has complete trust in the Danish defender. However, according to AS, Barcelona remain concerned over the long-term fitness of Pique, who has struggled with injuries during the course of the current campaign.

The Catalan club's management is unsure if the former Spain international will available for the entirety of the campaign in the coming years. This has prompted Xavi to seek another top quality centre-back, who can handle the pressure of playing for Barcelona, while also being a long-term replacement for Pique.

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

Kounde has been identified as the ideal player to take over from the World Cup and European Championship winner. The France international has been impressive since joining the Andalusian club from Bordeaux in 2019 and has attracted interest from a number of top European clubs.

The 23-year-old is keen to leave Sevilla and has asked the club to consider offers when the transfer window gets underway. Kounde was close to joining Chelsea last summer, but the Premier League club baulked at the La Liga side's insistence on the Blues matching his €90 million release clause.

It is likely that he will move on from Sevilla this summer with Chelsea again expected to be leading the chase for his signature. Xavi, however, is keen to take him to the Camp Nou and Barcelona are said to have already held talks with both the player's representatives and the club over a potential move in the summer.

The one major obstacle in Barcelona's way will be Kounde's €90 million release clause. The La Liga giants' ongoing financial troubles are unlikely to allow them to match the likes of Chelsea in a bidding war. However, they are hoping the offer of right-back Sergino Dest as part of the deal will bring down the asking price which will give them a chance to land the Frenchman.

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