Barcelona centre-back reveals Pep Guardiola phone call persuading him to join Manchester City
Barcelona centre-back Jules Kounde has revealed receiving a phone call from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola during a previous summer transfer window.
Over the past couple of seasons, Manchester City have been at the centre of some of the hottest transfer sagas.
Most recently, that got them involved with FC Barcelona and the future of star midfielder Bernardo Silva.
With the Portugal international known to be relatively unsettled with his personal lifestyle in the north-west of England, the prospect of moving to the Catalan sunshine was an enticing one.
However, finances got in the way, and the Camp Nou club’s inability to stump up the required sum meant they missed out on the player for the second consecutive summer.
Nevertheless, a new interview this week has proven the time when officials at the La Liga giants ultimately got one over on their Etihad counterparts.
This week, Barcelona centre-back Jules Kounde – who signed for the club during the most recent summer transfer window – has revealed the details of a pursuit from Manchester City for his signature.
The 23 year-old has spoken exclusively to El Pais, revealing the details of a phone call with Etihad Stadium boss, Pep Guardiola.
Jules Kounde playing for Barcelona.
When asked whether he had ever come close to joining Manchester City, the France international centre-back responded, “Yes, in my first year at Sevilla.”
This is likely to have been in the summer transfer window of 2020.
Manchester City were in hot pursuit of a long-term Vincent Kompany replacement, and Jules Kounde was often mooted as being on the club’s transfer shortlist.
Ultimately, after failing in moves for Kounde and the then Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, the club secured the signing of Ruben Dias – who has since gone on to be a huge success at the Etihad Stadium.
Jules Kounde however, was subject to one of Pep Guardiola’s infamous phone calls, as the Manchester City boss made an attempt to lure him to the Premier League champions.
Jules Kounde has now joined Barcelona
Kounde told El Pais, “(Pep) Guardiola called me.
“He told me that he loved me and that he believed I would fit the way (Manchester) City plays.”
The Premier League giants are unlikely to rue their failure to sign the aforementioned defender however.
The successful pursuit of former Benfica defender Ruben Dias has arguably revolutionised the club’s defensive line, solidifying a once leaky back-four and strengthening the players operating around him.