Premier League • England

Cracks begin to show in Chelsea transfer saga as target ‘prefers’ alternative summer destination

Ousmane Dembele and Jules Kounde contest possession during Barcelona vs Sevilla, March 2021

Cracks have begun to show in a Chelsea transfer saga as the target in question ‘prefers’ an alternative summer move, it’s been claimed.

The Champions League holders will need to bolster their squad for next season. Not only do they have several contract concerns over top players, but it’s also been clear to see this season that they are still slightly behind the quality of Liverpool and Manchester City.

Defence is looking like it will be a particular area of need. And Sevilla’s Jules Kounde appears to be the man wanted to address this.

The centre-back has been in Thomas Tuchel’s sights since last summer, when he narrowly missed out on him.

With the Blues readying another approach, it was reported at the weekend that Kounde ‘intends’ to join them.

However, the latest update from Tuesday’s edition of Spanish publication Sport throws a spanner in the works.

Via Sport Witness, it is claimed that the 23-year-old is a bigger fan of Barcelona than he is Chelsea.

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The La Liga giants like the look of him, but are prioritising their limited funds on targeting in-demand striker Erling Haaland.

If they miss out on him, though, then Kounde is next on their wish list. And that scenario could be a problem for Tuchel and co.

Chelsea scouting Max Kilman from Wolves for potential bargain

Chelsea scouts have been spotted scouting Wolves defender Max Kilman with potential bargain deal on the cards

Should the claim be true, he may opt to remain in Spain rather than move to the Premier League.

Barca are proving to be quite the thorn in Chelsea’s side this season. They have already eyed up both Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen as free agents.

Stealing a target from them would be rubbing salt in the wounds. It seems it could all rest on where Haaland ends up in the next window.

Busy Chelsea summer anticipated

Meanwhile, the idea of Romelu Lukaku returning to Inter Milan on loan from Chelsea to fill his own void has been speculated by the Italian media, after facing further criticism in England.

Lukaku returned to England in the summer after two productive seasons in Serie A. His spell with Inter culminated in becoming an Italian champion last season.

Consequently, his value was just shy of £100m when Chelsea bought him.

However, he has surprisingly not been justifying his price tag. Lukaku has only scored five goals from 17 Premier League matches this season.

In the most recent of those, he alarmingly managed just seven touches. And that has led to a shock suggestion…

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