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Barcelona have reached an agreement in principle to sign French international defender Jules Kounde from Sevilla, both LaLiga clubs have said.
The transfer, reported to be for EUR55m ($A80 m), is dependent on the the 23-year-old centre back passing a medical and agreeing personal terms, which are likely to be a formality.
Atletico Madrid also bought a defender on Thursdayy, signing Argentina's Nahuel Molina from Udinese.
Chelsea had made several bids for Kounde during last year's transfer window and he was close to joining the Premier League club this month before Barcelona made a late push.
Barcelona, who also beat Chelsea to the signing of Brazilian winger Raphinha from Leeds United earlier this month, finished second in LaLiga last season.
Kounde arrives in Catalonia after three years with Sevilla, where he made over 100 appearances and won the Europa League having joined from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux in 2019.
Barcelona have already strengthened their backline this summer with the addition of centre back Andreas Christensen on a free transfer from Chelsea.
They also signed Polish forward Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich and Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie, both on free transfers, in a busy transfer window despite being plagued by major financial problems.
The club's spending has been fuelled by the sale of 25% of their domestic television rights to investment firm Sixth Street for the next 25 years.
However, Barcelona need to meet LaLiga's salary cap to be able to register their new signings.
The 24-year-old Molina will help Atletico fill a void at right-back left by the departure of England's Kieran Trippier.
Molina, who scored 10 goals in 68 appearances over two seasons for Udinese, was part of Argentina's Copa America success last year, playing in five games before missing the final against Brazil.