Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo's cover page on May 18 said that the Blaugrana have made the French centre-back their primary transfer objective for the summer.
Joining the Rojiblancos from Bordeaux in 2019, Kounde has made a meteoric rise to prominence and has been coveted by some of the top European sides. Chelsea were leading the race to sign him last summer, but the move collapsed at the eleventh hour. However, the Blues are back in the fray for his signature.
With Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, defensive reinforcements are needed, so Chelsea have reignited their interest in Kounde.
Barcelona are rivalling their pursuit by joining the race, as coach Xavi wants another world-class defender after the club successfully reached an agreement to sign Christensen on a Bosman.
However, Kounde's arrival won't be as easy. The Frenchman has a release clause of €90 million in his contract with Sevilla, a figure Barcelona could struggle to meet.
To circumvent this financial challenge, the Blaugrana are now looking to offer Dest in return, with hopes that their Andalusian counterparts will agree on an offer of lower value. However, that could amount to nothing if Chelsea are able to activate Kounde's release clause, which will allow them to prise him away to west London.
Barcelona have started rebuilding already
The 2021-22 season isn't officially over yet, but it looks like Barcelona have already started rebuilding their squad for next season following a disappointing campaign.
For the second time in the last three years, the Blaugrana are set to finish without a trophy. However, there's hope for the future, given the improvements under coach Xavi.
A massive clearout is expected, with Samuel Umtiti, Frenkie de Jong, Clement Lenglet, Sergino Dest and Ousmane Dembele all facing uncertain futures at the Camp Nou.
Speaking of new arrivals, Robert Lewandowski has been heavily linked with them of late (per BarcaBlaugranes), with Kounde and Leeds United star Raphinha also supposedly on their radar. Either way, it's going to be a busy summer ahead for the club.