Manchester City and Chelsea have tried to sign Jules Koundé in the last three summer transfer windows.

The Premier League winners were keen on bringing the centre-back to the Etihad in 2020, a year after he joined Sevilla from Bordeaux, but the Cityzens failed in their efforts and ended up signing Rúben Dias from Benfica in the end.

Like Manchester City, Chelsea made firm efforts in 2021 and in the recently concluded window, but the Blues couldn’t convince the La Liga side last year either and he picked Barcelona over the west London club in July.

Today’s edition of El País have published an interview with the France international, where he was specifically asked whether it was true that he was ‘close to signing’ for Pep Guardiola’s side.

The defender said, “Yes, in my first year at Sevilla.”

El País then followed it up by asking if there was any conversation between the 23-year-old and the Manchester City manager. Responding to that, he explained: “He called me. He told me that he loved me and that he thought I would fit the way he played.”

Koundé also detailed the conversation he had with Guardiola in 2020 was similar to one he had with Xavi Hernández before he agreed to join Barcelona in the summer.

“At a certain point, yes. I talked a lot about football with both of them. And that’s what I like,” the Frenchman stressed.

“The first thing, in the conversations I had with them, I realised that they had both seen me play. They knew my capabilities perfectly. They didn’t talk just to talk. They were very precise conversations.”