Barcelona have reached an agreement to sign defender Jules Kounde from Sevilla for a base fee of €50 million ($50m/£42m) plus add-ons.
He is expected to sign a four-year contract that will run until 2026.
Kounde had been pursued by Chelsea since at least last summer, but he preferred a move to Camp Nou.
Xavi specifically requested Barcelona approach Kounde to reinforce a defence that has also added Blues defender Andreas Christensen on a free transfer.
On top of an initial €50m fee, there will be between €5m and €10m in add-ons.
The 23-year-old, who can play centre-back and right-back, represents Sevilla’s record transfer sale. However, Bordeaux will receive a sell-on sum of around €8m.
Why didn’t Kounde join Chelsea?
Chelsea were close to finalising a deal for Kounde last summer, but Sevilla ultimately determined they wouldn’t sell him. The added time he spent on the market opened the door to Barcelona, where the defender always preferred to go.
The Spaniard has long been linked to Barcelona though, and could be tempted by a transfer to his home country.
Chelsea have signed centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, but with several departures already confirmed and more rumoured, they will likely turn their attention to another defender, with Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe top of their watch list.