Premier League • England

Completed Chelsea deal could help clinch ‘outstanding’ first part of transfer double

Atletico Madrid attacker Matheus Cunha battling Sevilla centre-half Jules Kounde

Chelsea have settled on the ‘outstanding candidate’ to bolster their centre-back ranks next summer, and an already completed deal could indirectly aid their cause.

Chelsea’s defence could assume an entirely different look next season. Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are all out of contract in the summer. Some, if not all, will pen fresh terms, but work remains to be done on all three fronts.

Thiago Silva too was in that position. However, the Brazilian veteran penned a one-year extension last week.

Now, according to 90min, that deal could indirectly aid Chelsea’s chances of landing Jules Kounde next summer.

The Frenchman, 23, was strongly linked with the Blues throughout the summer. 90min state Chelsea believed they had a deal within their grasp until Sevilla moved the goalposts regarding the fees involved.

Six months on, Chelsea’s interest in the Kounde has not diminished. In fact, the outlet state he is their ‘outstanding’ defensive candidate ahead of the likes of Niklas Sule and Pau Torres.

A deal in January is reportedly unlikely, though they could agree terms soon ahead of a summer move. And Silva’s contract extension could help grease a deal’s wheels with the 37-year-old apparently Kounde’s ‘idol’.

Chelsea still interested in Kounde, need to offload duo first

Ziyech and Werner will have to make way in order to get Kounde and Digne is off the table for The Blues.

With Silva confirmed to be staying at Stamford Bridge for at least one more year, Kounde would have the chance to play alongside the man he idolises if moving to the capital.

On the Kounde front, the article concludes that he is ‘unwavering’ in his desire to join Chelsea. He has reportedly made his employers aware of his intentions too.

Kounde part one of French double

A potential Kounde arrival could be part one of an impressive double raid. The article adds that Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni is also in their sights.

This season at Chelsea has shown that strength in depth is never more important than in central midfield.

The Blues have three elite performers in Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante. However, the loan return of Conor Gallagher and the potential acquisition of Tchouameni would give Thomas Tuchel midfield options that would be the envy of virtually all Premier League managers.

90min state Chelsea could follow the same approach they are taking with Kounde by agreeing a deal in advance of a summer switch.

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Chelsea learn fate as Haaland ‘chooses’ next club

Meanwhile, Erling Haaland has reportedly let slip which club he will soon transfer to after one suitor ‘won the race’ following a mammoth contract offer, per various outlets.

Europe’s leading lights ranging from Chelsea and Man Utd, to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have all been credited with interest in the Norwegian marksman. Barcelona too are in the mix, though it was initially feared their financial strife would rule them out of contention.

However, according to the Sun, (citing Spanish outlet AS), it is Barcelona who have seemingly won the race. The Spanish publication’s headline reads: ‘Haaland chooses to sign for Barca’.

Furthermore, they state Xavi’s side are poised to secure Haaland’s signature after making a massive contract offer worth £480,000-per-week. That roughly equates to £25m-a-year, and is the figure German newspaper Bild suggested Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could sanction.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta reportedly confirmed on Monday that his side were pursuing Haaland. The Mirror add their take to the story, claiming a meeting between Laporta and Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, has borne fruit.

The Mirror add another snippet of information when revealing Haaland was recently on holiday in Marbella. When asked about his future, the striker supposedly said: “I will play in Spain.”

READ MORE: Chelsea going ‘all out’ for No1 target with selling club fearful they’ll regret sale