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SPORTS UPDATE

Transfer: Guardiola said he loved me – Kounde speaks on snubbing Man City

Jules Kounde has revealed he considered joining Manchester City, before he completed a summer transfer from Sevilla to Barcelona.

The 23-year-old signed for Barca in July despite interest from City and Premier League rivals, Chelsea.

Kounde built a reputation as one of the best young defenders in Europe since making his senior debut for Bordeaux in January 2018.

He was heavily linked with City in the summer of 2020 and even spoke to Pep Guardiola, but a move never materialised.

Guardiola instead signed Ruben Dias, who was named the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year in May 2021.

When asked by El Pais if he was close to joining the English champions, Kounde said: “Yes, in my first year at Sevilla he [Guardiola] called me.

“He told me that he loved me and that he thought I would fit the way he played.”

While Barcelona landed Kounde this summer, City brought in centre-back Manuel Akanji from Borussia Dortmund.

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