"Koundé's agent has been calling me every day or every other day for two months," says Mateu Alemany

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Barcelona's director of soccer wanted to highlight and praise "the commitment and the firm and insistent will of Jules to come to Barça."

Mateu Alemany, FC Barcelona's director of soccer, revealed the ins and outs of the negotiations for the signing of centre-back Jules Koundé during the presentation press conference. He explained that during the talks with the player's agent, Jonathan Kebe, the club was aware that his first choice was clearly to join FC Barcelona.

"Jules' agent has been calling me every day or every other day for two months to know the situation of the fair play because he had very strong offers. I told him 'do it, sign', but the player wanted to come to Barça and waited for us. His insistence has been tremendous. At one point I even told Jonathan not to call me anymore, because I didn't know what to say to him," Alemany explained.

"When we closed the second lever, Koundé had an agreement almost closed with another club, but he wanted to come to Barça. At that moment, we sent an offer to Sevilla. I want to highlight the commitment and the firm and insistent will of Jules to come to Barça," the director of soccer further explained.

Alemany also referred to the situation of the players who have been ruled out, although he did not want to give details. He limited himself to affirming that all the players were aware of their situation. "Xavi has spoken with all of them and they know the will of the coach about who should continue or leave. Let's hope that the departures will take place, some on loan, others on transfer and others with rescission. The club aims to reduce the wage bill".

BATTLE WITH CHELSEA

The Barça executive was also asked if the struggle with Chelsea to sign Koundé could hinder the negotiations for Marcos Alonso and César Azpilicueta to which Alemany gave a diplomatic response. "We are Barça and we do not compete against anyone. We try to convince the players and their agents that we have the best project, and then we negotiate with their clubs," he insisted. "And if there is an agreement, it's over. We have a good relationship with Chelsea and we had dinner with their owner. I will not bring up names of players who are under contract with other clubs."

Finally, Alemany spoke about the situation of Alejando Balde and, although he congratulated him, insisted that the decision about his role in the squad will be Xavi's. "It's great news that young players are taking steps forward. But it is the coach who decides who is in the squad and who plays," he concluded.

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