Disgruntled defender ‘willing’ to join Chelsea in urgent £65m U-turn to thwart Man Utd
Chelsea are preparing yet another attempt for Barcelona defender, Jules Kounde, who has reportedly become open to the transfer.
A year ago, Kounde was ready to leave Sevilla and had to choose between Chelsea and Barcelona for his next destination. Ultimately, he held out for a La Liga stay.
It came as a major blow to Chelsea, who are long-term admirers of the France international. They ultimately spent big on Wesley Fofana instead after already wrapping up a deal for Kalidou Koulibaly.
However, it has been an awful season for Chelsea, who will finish in the bottom half of the Premier League table despite all their spending.
Come the summer, they will focus on finding more firepower up front and a reliable first-choice goalkeeper, while they may have to evolve their midfield options.
But the chance to revive their interest in Kounde could be too good for them to overlook. In turn, another big investment might be made in defence.
According to Diario Sport, which reflects Kounde’s frustration at how Barcelona have been using him. Xavi has been deploying him at right-back, rather than his preferred role in the middle of defence.
Clearly annoyed, Kounde has now requested to leave Barcelona after just one season. Earlier this week, it was reported that Man Utd are ‘serious’ contenders to sign him.
Their interest has been reiterated by Diario Sport, which now carries more information about Chelsea’s own pursuit of the 24-year-old.
According to the report, Chelsea are ‘pressing’ to sign Kounde again. In turn, the Frenchman is ‘willing’ to come to the Premier League.
It now seems to be a two-horse race between Chelsea and Man Utd. Whoever wants to buy him will have to offer Barcelona at least €75m (£65m).
Former Chelsea defender pushing Kounde out
Coincidentally, Chelsea may have already made a decision that could enhance their chances of signing Kounde.
As the report reflects, Andreas Christensen has forced his way into the Barcelona team at centre-back after Chelsea released him. It has forced Kounde to shift to right-back, since Ronald Araujo is the other main centre-half that Xavi prefers.
Thus, letting Christensen go could actually help Chelsea secure Kounde, even if it will cost them a lot of money.
A hectic month could be in store, since Barcelona need to sell players before the end of June. Kounde wasn’t originally on their transfer list, but now they could look to make the most of an unpleasant situation.
Conversely, Barcelona don’t want to rush a decision about Kounde, who has huge potential for the future. They spent €55m on him for a reason, after all.
They would also have to sign a replacement at right-back, but that should be a task on their agenda anyway.
Therefore, the idea of selling Kounde might be considered more closely – and urgently. Only time will tell where he ends up.
If it is to be Chelsea, Kounde would be the latest in a long line of expensive purchases by Todd Boehly. But after Koulibaly and Fofana failed to reach the necessary standards, it’s the kind of business the Blues might have to consider again.
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