Barca’s struggle to register Kounde overshadows season’s start

If Barca is unable to register Kounde by next Wednesday, the 23-year-old France defender would become a free agent due to a release clause included in his contract.

French defender Jules Kounde poses for the media during his official presentation after signing for FC Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022. 

French defender Jules Kounde poses for the media during his official presentation after signing for FC Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022.  | Photo Credit: AP Photo/Joan Monfort

If Barca is unable to register Kounde by next Wednesday, the 23-year-old France defender would become a free agent due to a release clause included in his contract.

Barcelona's financial struggles and its inability to register newly-signed French defender Jules Kounde as a player have overshadowed the buildup to Sunday's game against Real Valladolid and eclipsed last week's 4-1 win at Real Sociedad.

Not even Robert Lewandowski's first two goals for the club and a great display from Ansu Fati were enough to divert attention away from Barca's battle against the clock to comply with LaLiga's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules before the end of the summer transfer window.

If Barca is unable to register Kounde by next Wednesday, the 23-year-old France defender would become a free agent due to a release clause included in his contract, signed last month when Barca paid 50 million euros ($49.84 million) to Sevilla to make him one of its marquee signings of the new season.

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Spanish media have reported that Barca is still some 20 million euros over the cap, even after agreeing to loan defender Samuel Umtiti to Lecce on Thursday.

The club are taking several other steps to increase its revenue to offset losses and reduce debt to meet the FFP rules and is hopeful that the potential sales of midfielder Frenkie de Jong and strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay could make this possible.

After picking up four points from its opening two games, Barca is two points behind champion and rival Real Madrid, which will also play in Barcelona on Sunday, but some 8km south of the Camp Nou, at Cornella-El Prat against Espanyol.

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