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Chelsea close in on £51m Jules Kounde deal after Sevilla talks but fear Presnel Kimpembe will reject transfer



Chelsea are edging closer to the signing of Sevilla’s Jules Kounde after a day of talks with the LaLiga outfit.

They are aiming to steal a march on Barcelona who remain big players in the race for the France international.

The Blues have long had personal terms agreed but remain in talks over a fee of around £51million for the 23-year-old.

Kounde has been a target since last summer but Chelsea went cold on signing him after attempts to secure Manchester City’s Nathan Ake and Bayern Munich’s Matthijs De Ligt.

Sevilla would rather sell Kounde to Chelsea and want him to decide soon. Yet, the player is thought to be open to a move to either Barcelona or Chelsea depending on their ability to negotiate in the next few days

The 26-year-old has discussed a possible move with his former teammates N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva and has great admiration for manager Thomas Tuchel – who is an active part of the negotiations.

However, even with PSG open to letting him go, the defender is very settled in the French capital at his boyhood club. That is the major factor slowing a potential move across the English Channel to play for the world champions.

Chelsea are also considering a move for a wing-back but it depends on the future of Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso – who have both agreed lucrative contracts with Barcelona.

Negotiations remain ongoing over a possible fee between the Catalan chiefs and interim sporting director Todd Boehly.

The Blues also remain in talks about signing Chicago Fire’s 18-year-old goalkeeper sensation Gabriel Slonina.

These talks have become protracted because the priorities remain defensive options which Tuchel is keen to sort.

Under the current proposals, Slonina would go back on loan to the MLS outfit after signing a contract with his new club.

Any further business would depend on selling major stars with Napoli looking to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga, who would have to be replaced before being allowed to move to Italy

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