Chelsea have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Jules Kounde with the Sevilla defender set to join Barcelona instead.
The Blues have agreed a £55m deal for the 23-year-old, whom they almost signed last summer.
However, their decision for Kounde alerted Barca to rekindle their interest in the player.
And Spanish publication Sport, as quoted by The Sun, report that the cash-strapped Catalans have agreed a deal worth £51million for Kounde which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2026.
It’s another blow for Chelsea in the transfer window, with the west London club also missing Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski at Barca.
Meanwhile, Andreas Christensen has canceled his contract at Stamford Bridge to join the La Liga giants.
It has also been reported that Blues club captain Cesar Azpilicueta could follow in Christensen’s footsteps and leave Chelsea for Barca.
Those setbacks off the pitch, plus a 4-0 to Arsenal, led Thomas Tuchel to admit he was ‘worried’ about the situation.
Atletico step up Ronaldo chase, Man United boost De Jong deal, Kounde latest
Alli scores twice for Everton but Toffees could offload him six months after joining
Police ‘attacked with street furniture’ in fan fight after Rangers-Spurs friendly
Lingard said ‘don’t listen to the dinosaurs’ after choosing Forest over West Ham
Bale runs to celebrate with Chiellini after scoring his first MLS goal for LAFC
Raphinha is a hot net for Barcelona as a fight breaks out in a moody El Clasico
Jesus scores delicious chip as Arsenal beat Chelsea but striker scared of injury
Milner is Liverpool’s pre-season king, and only one man has come close to beating him
Speaking during the Sunday session, talkSPORT regular Darren Lewis said: “What’s interesting is that Todd Boehly was beaten to the punch by Barcelona for Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, he didn’t failed to get Nathan Ake out of Manchester City and now it seems to be the case that he is once again beaten by Barcelona for Jules Kounde.
“At the very least, he’s struggling to get those signings through.
“If you look at Arsenal, they’ve done five transfers now, Liverpool have done their thing, City have done their thing, you look at Tottenham and they have done their thing.
“If you’re at Chelsea, they’re lagging behind and this idea that you can take over a club and you do the business, it turns out to be a lot harder than Todd Boehly and the people around him must have thought.
“Based on last night’s loss to Arsenal, many of us in the press box couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Chelsea looked so poor. They seemed so unable to cope with a team which, as Tuchel said after the game, finished below them in the table and will not play in the Champions League this season.
“Arsenal looked trained, ready and their signings seemed integrated. Oleksandr Zinchenko went straight to the side, Jesus looks like the striker they are calling for, and they just stared at him.
“Chelsea can’t bring players in, they can’t bring players out and as Tuchel said, Chelsea have players who are desperate to leave.
“He didn’t name these players but I can tell you it’s Hakim Ziyech who wants to go to AC Milan, Marcos Alonso wants to go to Barcelona, Cesar Azpilicueta wants to go to Barcelona, Timo Werner wants to go regular first -team football and Christian Pulisic wants to get first-team football.
“Chelsea are a bit of a mess at the moment.”