Chelsea are set to thrash out a deal to land Sevilla defender Jules Kounde when Todd Boehly’s proposed takeover is officially finalised over the next few days, according to reports in Spain. Kounde has long been admired by those in command at Stamford Bridge and came close to making the switch to west London a year ago but was ultimately forced to stay put after the two clubs failed to agree on a transfer fee despite months of negotiations
Chelsea have retained their interest in Kounde in spite of their failure to bring him in last summer, with the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen set to leave the club upon the expiry of their contracts at the end of the current season. It seems as though a move for Kounde could finally be made in the not-too-distant future, with negotiations at club level set to be wrapped up ‘in the coming days’, according to AS.
It is claimed that Chelsea will pay a fee of around £51million to secure Kounde’s signature, with personal terms having already been signed off during initial talks with the player’s representatives last summer. The Frenchman is said to have received no shortage of offers from elsewhere but has his heart set on a move to Chelsea in order to try his luck in the Premier League from next season onwards.
Kounde is said to be ready to move on from Sevilla in order to compete for domestic and European titles and will be hoping to hit the ground running at Chelsea when his proposed switch can be confirmed in advance of the new campaign. It seems likely that Chelsea’s transfer restrictions will be lifted when Boehly’s purchase of the club is rubber-stamped over the next few days, with the move expected to be pushed through by the UK government before the end of this month.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was said to have met with Boehly last week but did not speak about potential transfers in spite of the club’s need to reinforce their defensive ranks in advance of the new campaign. However, the American business tycoon is said to have drawn up encouraging plans to bring the Blues into a new era after two decades under the stewardship of Roman Abramovich and is expected to lead a fruitful summer window ahead of next season.
Kounde’s impressive versatility, quick turn of pace and cultured range of passing would stand him in good stead to succeed as part of Tuchel’s back three when the new campaign gets underway in August. However, former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman has already warned that Kounde may not yet be ready to assume a starring role at one of the Premier League’s leading clubs in spite of his rising stock in recent years.
Kounde is a French international and he’s young, he will attract attention,” said McManaman when quizzed on the Sevilla defender’s qualities last year.
“The way defenders in Spain play always means they do. But even though he’s only 23 years old, he has been around and has been highly thought of for the past couple of years. However, nobody’s plumped for him yet, and there’s a reason.
“It’s either because he’s too expensive or he’s just not top level yet. I still think he has to improve if he’s going to be in the top echelons of the Premier League, where you will find the very best teams
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