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Ronald Araujo insists he will host competition for the Barcelona places amid continued speculation that Jules Kounde will join the Blaugrana.

Barca have already signed Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie and Raphinha despite the LaLiga outfit’s financial difficulties.

Xavi’s side have also agreed a deal to bring Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski to Camp Nou for €50m including add-ons.

Ousmane Dembele has also signed a contract extension with Barca but the Blaugrana’s spending is set to continue with the Catalan giants reportedly set to buy Kounde from Sevilla.

Chelsea and Manchester City have also been linked with the in-demand French centre-back, who Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui seems resigned to losing.

With Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Christensen and potentially Kounde as competitors, Araujo suggested he wants the best for Barca to compete and will welcome any additions to Xavi’s squad.

Asked about Koundé after training during Barca’s pre-season tour of the United States, the Uruguay international replied: “He’s a great player; Barca’s best players are good for the group.

“They know what I can bring, my characteristics; what I want is for us to have the best team possible.

“Competition is always good in football because it allows you to bring out the best in yourself and players arrive who can contribute. I always say I want the best for Barca and for them to add to the squad. “

As for Dembele’s extension and the new arrivals, Araujo was quick to express his joy as Barca prepare to challenge Real Madrid for the LaLiga title.

“We all wanted Ousmane to continue in the team,” he added. “We know [Lewandowski’s] quality; it’s great that he’s with us.

“Raphinha, Christensen, Kessie have also arrived. It is important that good players arrive to continue to grow as a team.”

Barcelona will face friendlies against Inter Miami, Real Madrid, Juventus and New York Red Bulls ahead of their La Liga opener against Rayo Vallecano on August 13, and Araujo stressed the importance of the pre- season.

“It’s important to have a good pre-season, tactically and physically. I think it’s going to be a great season,” he continued. “It’s important to win titles for the group, but you have to take it step by step.”

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