Xavi confirms Jules Kounde is still NOT signed up to play as Barcelona ‘are on hold’ to get the green light for the £46m new boy to make his debut against Real Sociedad this weekend
- Xavi has confirmed that Jules Kounde is still not signed up to play at Barcelona
- The 23-year-old French defender left Sevilla last month
- Financial restrictions prevented Koundé from taking part in last week’s opener
- Xavi hasn’t ruled out the departure of Chelsea target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Barcelona manager Xavi has confirmed Jules Kounde is still not signed up to play but is optimistic he will be in the squad to face Real Sociedad on Sunday.
The Catalan giants have activated their fourth and final financial lever to allow new signings Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen to sign up for last weekend’s draw with Rayo Vallecano.
However, Kounde was forced to side-watch as his new teammates made their Barcelona debuts in front of a sold-out Camp Nou.
Jules Kounde is still not registered to play but Barcelona are waiting for the green light
Xavi says Barca are “waiting” to get the green light for the new £46million defender, who was signed from Sevilla, to make his debut this weekend.
“At the moment, we don’t know anything. We are on standby,’ Xavi told a press conference ahead of their trip to San Sebastian.
Barca must comply with LaLiga salary cap rules to register Kounde, and the potential sales of forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay could make that possible.
‘We are waiting. Koundé is a great leader and a great player. Hopefully he shows it soon – tomorrow, if he can play.
Barca boss Xavi hopes Kounde will be registered in time for Real Sociedad game
“He has trained very well, I see him in good spirits, but we have to sell players to be able to register him.”
Xavi also said Aubameyang would be in the squad but didn’t rule out leaving amid interest from Chelsea.
“The transfer market closes on August 31 and we don’t know what will happen,” Xavi said.
“Auba and Memphis are still there, so tomorrow we will use them. But the priority is to save Koundé.
Barca have taken several steps to increase their revenue to offset losses, reduce debt and comply with LaLiga Financial Fair Play rules.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be in the squad but remains a target for Chelsea
They sold stakes in their AV studio, licensing and merchandising division and even some of their LaLiga TV revenue rights to help balance the books.
They also signed a jersey and stadium sponsorship deal with Spotify.
On the other hand, last December they approved financial plans to renovate the Camp Nou, including raising €1.5 billion in additional debt. (Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Hugh Lawson)