Chelsea have been long-term admirers of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde as Thomas Tuchel looks to strengthen his defence this summer
Chelsea are set for a busy summer with a number of key positions in need of strengthening if they are to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.
It is in defence where Thomas Tuchel and Todd Boehly have the most work to do. Antonio Rudiger’s move to Real Madrid on a free transfer has already been confirmed while Andreas Christensen is expected to join Barcelona in the coming weeks. The futures of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta also remain up in the air.
One player linked with a move to the Blues this season is Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde. With that in mind, football.london takes a look at the latest rumours and reports surrounding the defender.
Chelsea are favourites to land Kounde but they are not alone in their pursuit of the Frenchman. Barcelona are also in competition in what could serve as a blow to the Blues’ chances.
Barca Times report that Sevilla are asking for €55million (£47million) to €65million (£56million) to let him leave this summer. The report does, however, add that Barcelona hold ‘serious’ interest in landing the Frenchman this summer.
The Blues were locked in negotiations for Kounde for weeks last season and that is something they will want to avoid. But with plenty of recruits desired this summer, they will still be eyeing as good a deal as possible.
According to a report from The Telegraph, the Blues are hoping that a bid of £42million will be enough with the promise of it rising to £50million with add-ons. It is slightly less than Sevilla’s current reported asking price, however.
Chelsea were undone in their pursuit of Kounde last summer when Sevilla suddenly raised the asking price late in the day. It left the Blues without a new defensive recruit as they refused to budge on their offer at the time.
Nearly a year later the chase is continuing and they now know the price Spanish side want. As per Fabrizio Romano, Sevilla are currently unwilling to accept any offer of less than £55million for their star defender.
Chelsea decided to pull out of a deal for Kounde during the summer transfer window after Sevilla suddenly raised their asking price to £69million. But they will be well placed to secure a deal this summer.
That is because Boehly and his consortium are ready to provide Tuchel with a £200million transfer fund for the summer window, according to The Telegraph, as they look to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool next season.
Chelsea appear to be taking no chances in the transfer market this summer and have a list of eight potential recruits for defensive positions, according to The Telegraph. Kounde remains the priority but RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Maria Gimenez are also being tracked.
Kounde added fuel to the speculation in May when he was spotted on the streets of London, taking a selfie with a Chelsea fan. The groundwork for the deal was put in last summer before Sevilla suddenly increased their asking price so there remains confidence in west London that a deal can be completed.
Spotting the Frenchman roaming the streets of the capital is likely to only increase the confidence of fans that he will be playing at Stamford Bridge next season.
Jules Kounde is ‘determined’ to leave Sevilla at the end of the season amid previous interest from Chelsea. According to the Press Association, the France international remains one of the club’s top targets ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window.
Kounde was reportedly frustrated by how Sevilla blocked his move to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2021 and remains eager to leave. It could serve as a further incentive for Chelsea to table an offer.
Chelsea’ seem close’ to Jules Kounde’s summer signing, Sport Witness reports.
Now that doesn’t mean that the interested clubs won’t start moving for a summer transfer. And that’s what Chelsea are already doing, according to today’s report from Tutto Mercato Web.
The website writes that the Blues are coming ‘with the strength to try to close the operation’. With Marina Granovskaia leading the attempt, they’re said to be offering an initial payment of €55million (£46.1million) plus €5million (£4.2million) in bonuses.
Tutto Mercato Web claims the agreement between the clubs’ seems close’, and the defender could indeed leave Sevilla to join the Blues next summer.
Liverpool aims to outgun Premier League rivals Chelsea in the transfer race for Sevilla’s own version of ‘Fabio Cannavaro’ in the form of Jules Kounde by meeting one certain condition.
Kounde, 23, has established himself as a long-term target of the club with Thomas Tuchel, a known admirer of the Sevilla centre-back, who could be the first of many to be signed as part of a defensive reshuffle. However, Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp may yet ruin Chelsea’s plans by making their own big play for the Frenchman, who could add to the extensive quality in the backline of the Reds at the expense of Nathaniel Phillips, who is destined for the exit door at Anfield.
Spanish outlet El Nacional claims Liverpool are happy to meet Kounde’s £68.5million release clause and could make a move for the defender this month. Whether that prompts Chelsea to match the Reds’ offer is unclear, although the Blues refused to raise their bid to meet that fee over the summer.
Worryingly though, Sevilla’s No.23 “has given his approval to the offer presented to him by Liverpool”, according to the Spanish outlet.
Tuchel previously admitted Chelsea would have to re-evaluate whether to launch a future move for Jules Kounde, given the situation at centre-back has changed due to Chalobah’s impressive form.
During the summer transfer window, Chelsea pushed hard to bring the France international to Stamford Bridge. Talks between the Blues and the La Liga club lasted several weeks, and there was a stage at which an agreement appeared close. However, in the final days of the window, Sevilla raised their asking price, given they had little time to bring in a replacement. Chelsea’s official bid was rejected as a result.
“I think every transfer period, you need to evaluate again,” Tuchel said. “You cannot say what we wanted in the summer, and we do in the winter. And what we want to do in winter, we want to do the next summer. It is not like this. Your opinion changes, players change, you have evolvement in the group, you have an atmosphere that you build, you see who is absolutely reliable, and these connections build up and create something special hopefully in the group.
“So you cannot say what we tried in the summer did not happen, so we will try again for sure in the winter. Sometimes it is like this. If we see the same need, but clearly, Trevoh is now here with us, and he deserves to be here with us. It had nothing to do with if we could sign another central defender or not. But he stepped up.
“The responsibility was even more on his shoulders, and he can handle it so far in a very impressive way. This is the situation, and it has an effect on our next decisions in the next transfer period. It is always like this.”
Kounde has also revealed that his failed move to Chelsea in the summer affected him in the aftermath. Speaking to French outlet TF1, Kounde spoke about the impact of the Chelsea move that never was in the summer: “Did it affect me? Yes, a little bit, but now I’ve dealt with it.”
Sevilla president Castro has confirmed the club will sell Kounde should they receive the appropriate offer for the defender, with Chelsea previously interested in his services.
Manchester United have recently been linked with a move for the Frenchman as well when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the manager amid Raphael Varane’s injury concerns. Now, Castro has confirmed that Sevilla will allow Kounde to leave the club in January should an appropriate offer – which may well involve his release clause being triggered – comes their way over the winter transfer window.
The Sevilla president told Cope: “Jules Kounde deal? We’re not going to change our position. If the proposal we receive is out of market, we will sell our players to sign new ones
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