Xavi 'pretty sure' Kounde will be registered to play against Real Valladolid

·1-min read

Barcelona head coach Xavi is "pretty sure" defender Jules Kounde will make his LaLiga debut for his new team against Real Valladolid this weekend.

Kounde joined Barca from Sevilla for a reported fee of €55million this transfer window, after the Catalan club beat Chelsea to the France international's signature.

However, Barcelona's financial situation meant Kounde could not be registered to play in LaLiga, although other new arrivals Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen have each made their debuts.

But Xavi believes the situation is finally sorted and is confident Kounde will feature against Valladolid at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Xavi told reporters at his pre-match news conference: "It's a negotiation with LaLiga. We are pretty sure that Jules can play tomorrow. We are optimistic."

Kounde is sure to be a big help for Barcelona in Europe as they compete to lift their first Champions League trophy since beating Juventus in the final in the 2014-15 campaign.

Xavi's team will first have to get out of a tricky Group C that includes Inter and Viktoria Plzen, as well as Bayern Munich, who infamously thumped Barcelona in a humiliating 8-2 defeat in the 2019-20 quarter-finals.

And Xavi knows the size of the task ahead of his team, saying: "It's a very difficult group, perhaps the toughest.

"We've made very good signings this season, we've invested a lot. The Champions League and the league, we want to go through and fight for the trophies. But the challenge is massive. It's perhaps the group of death."