Chelsea have put in place plans to sign Sevilla’s Jules Kounde as soon as Todd Boehly’s takeover is complete and sanctions end.
With both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to depart for Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, this summer, the Blues are keen to sign a top central defender.
Like Chelsea, Sevilla are also keen to do the deal as early as possible in order for Kounde’s replacement to be signed and quickly brought up to speed
What has been agreed so far in Chelsea’s pursuit of Kounde?
The 23-year-old has a verbal agreement in place about moving this summer and wants to transfer to Stamford Bridge after talks collapsed last year.
The west London club had already agreed on a contract with the player but the move fell apart over both the fee and late timing of the talks.
The Liga outfit need to raise around £38m ($47m) to balance the books before June 30. However, they are asking for around £59m ($73m) for the France international defender, who can play at centre-back or right-back.
Thomas Tuchel had a meal with prospective new owner Todd Boehly last week, but the pair didn’t speak about transfers.
Still, there is an understanding around the club that Boehly is ambitious and wants to continue pushing his acquisition towards titles.
“He paid some money for it, so I don’t think he is keen to drop the ambition,” Tuchel said after the FA Cup final at the weekend.
“We will share our opinion in more detail over the next weeks and I am sure he is as ambitious to build a competitive Chelsea for the highest level.”
That has been the basis of scouting and talks with agents behind the scenes, although this has been limited in scope compared to their unsanctioned rivals.
Could Chelsea do more transfer business this summer?
Chelsea will likely look to sign multiple players, but it will depend on the takeover, player sales and which loanees return.
Conor Gallagher is expected to come back from Crystal Palace and fight for his spot, although his status is yet to be confirmed.
The rest of the loanees will fight it out to be in the squad, while there are contract situations needing resolved, including Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Those players with a year left to run on their deal could leave, with others also thought to be attracting offers.
In terms of incoming signings, Chelsea have looked at other centre-backs, as at least two are leaving the club. The options include PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe, RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez
Beyond that position, Chelsea have looked at West Ham’s Declan Rice and Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni in midfield, with Brighton’s Marc Cucurella admired for a wing-back slot.
Chelsea could sign attackers, but only depending on player sales, and are aware that Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski could be on the move this summer.
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