Barcelona beat Chelsea to the signing of former Sevilla defender Jules Kounde this summer. Xavi played a key role in convincing the Frenchman to pick the Blaugrana over the Premier League side.
The centre-back has admitted that his conversation with the former Spain international influenced his decision.
Kounde was Chelsea’s top target to reinforce their defense ahead of the current campaign. He was believed to be heading to Stamford Bridge before Barcelona entered the race and convinced the defender to stay in Spain.
During an interview with L’Equipe (via SPORT), the defender revealed that he spoke with both former Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel and Xavi but was convinced by the latter.
He added that he knew he was more likely to feature in his favorite position at the heart of the backline at Camp Nou.
“I spoke with Tuchel and I also felt that he wanted me to come but I simply preferred Xavi’s speech,” he said.
“That’s why I chose Barca, because I know that most of the time I will play in this position.”
It has been a dream start to life for Kounde at Barcelona. The defender has made five appearances for the Catalan giants across all competitions so far.
Speaking about his ambitions at Camp Nou, the centre-back said that he is aware that the club are in a transition and vowed to help them return to the top.
“First, I come to a huge club, which has known good times and which, lately, has had less,” he said.
“I come to a project that I would not call reconstruction, because we already have a competitive team, but rather an upturn.
“I was interested in being part of this new wave, in search of titles, and to put Barca back where it has always been, among the best. Then there was the conversation with the coach (Xavi).
“We talked about football, mainly. I felt a real confidence, a real knowledge of myself. game and my qualities,” the defender added.
Did Kounde make the right decision to snub Chelsea for Xavi’s Barcelona?
Considering the contrasting paths the two clubs have taken so far this season, it is safe to say that Kounde took the right step by snubbing Chelsea’s interest to link up with Xavi at Barcelona.
Barca have been in sensational form since the campaign kicked off, bagging six victories, one draw and one defeat in eight games across all competitions.
The Blues, on the other hand, are currently in a crisis, having bagged three victories, two draws and three defeats in eight games across all fronts so far.