Chelsea could enact revenge on Barcelona for their pursuit of Jules Kounde as a report claims they hold an interest in young left-back Alex Balde.
According to sources in Spain, Barcelona have entered the race to sign Kounde from Sevilla. And things are moving quickly, with Catalunya Radio claiming Xavi’s side have struck a deal with Sevilla for the centre-back.
Barcelona are willing to pay £51.6million to sign the Frenchman, while also offering a player in exchange. And this is seemingly enough for Sevilla to sell, even to a La Liga rival.
The news puts Chelsea at a huge disadvantage in the race for Kounde’s signature. They view him as a perfect replacement for either Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen, but will now have to move incredibly quickly to get him to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea and Barcelona seem intertwined this summer, not just in the case of Kounde.
Christensen will join the Spanish giants when his Chelsea contract expires, while Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta are both being targeted by Barcelona officials.
Alonso is open about his desire to go back to Spain. Should this move go through, then Thomas Tuchel will need a replacement.
The German does already have Ben Chilwell and Emerson in his squad. However, he could probably do with another left wing-back if Chelsea are to compete on all fronts.
Chelsea ‘very attentive’ to Alex Balde developments
This is where Barca defender Alex Balde comes in. According to Sport Witness, who cite Mundo Deportivo, Chelsea are ‘very attentive’ to his situation amid uncertainty surrounding Alonso’s future.
The player is only 18 and has made just seven senior appearances in his career. But the Blues like the look of him and could swoop in this summer.
Chelsea’s hopes are boosted by the fact Balde is open to a move. He believes he should have been given more first-team opportunities by now.
Barca don’t want to let him go, but the teenager could force them into changing their minds if he feels he is better off going elsewhere.
Barcelona attempt to hijack Jules Kounde deal from Chelsea
Barcelona are attempting to steal Jules Kounde from Chelsea as Sevilla CB is interested in Barca
Balde’s Barca contract includes a release clause worth an astonishing £426.9million. However, their financial situation means they will accept bids far below this.
Balde’s lack of senior experience means Chelsea won’t want to go big on him. But if they come forward with a reasonable offer then Barca may have to green light a sale.
It seems Alonso and Balde could go opposite directions while the transfer window is open. It wouldn’t be a bad move for Chelsea, given Balde’s age and high potential.
Meanwhile, an Inter Milan official has spoken about Romelu Lukaku’s possible return to the San Siro on loan.