Tuchel fears over biggest Jules Kounde flaw emerge, moving Chelsea closer to ‘giving up’ on Barcelona target

Jules Kounde, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Barcelona v Sevilla April 2022

Chelsea are close to walking away completely from a deal for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, with Barcelona now reportedly in the driving seat amid fresh Thomas Tuchel concerns emerging.

The Blues have been chasing the France international for the past three transfer windows but to no avail yet. Last summer, they came close to signing him only for Sevilla to change their terms.

Sevilla then refused to let Kounde leave in January, with Chelsea coming even closer to the centre-back this summer.

Indeed, Chelsea have a five-year deal on the table for him and are willing to pay Sevilla’s £55million valuation. And despite Kounde making the shock decision to join Sevilla’s pre-season trip to Portugal, reports claimed he felt ready to move to Stamford Bridge.

But Barcelona – the headline-makers of the current transfer window – have stamped their mark on yet another story. They have told Kounde to wait, insisting that they can make a deal with Sevilla too.

The Guardian now reports that Chelsea are ‘close to giving up’ as it is becoming clear that Kounde is instead biding his time – and waiting for Barcelona.

The Spanish side’s finances are balancing on a tightrope amid a mountain of debt. However, they are slowly getting a bid together by selling off parts of the club in 25-year deals. Barca have sold 25 per cent of their La Liga TV rights to Sixth Street in such an arrangement.

And while Barca’s Kounde bid will fall short of Chelsea’s, they would be offering more up front which is reportedly tempting Sevilla.

Tuchel concerns for Kounde emerge

Meanwhile, The Guardian also brings to light concerns about Kounde from within Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reportedly fears that the 5ft 10in centre-back could be too small to compete in the Premier League.

On a wider scale, the German feels ‘frustrated’ at his side’s lack of progress in the transfer market.

Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly have arrived, but Tuchel wants two more centre-backs in before the transfer window shuts.

Chelsea fears mounting

More importantly, Tuchel wants fresh faces into his defence ahead of the new Premier League season. And it is just under two weeks until Chelsea play Everton in their opening contest.

The Blues lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barca this summer.

They not only need new signings, but the new players need to gel in an area of the team which is make-or-break for Premier League title ambitions.

Tuchel reflected such concerns on Sunday when he claimed he “cannot guarantee” if his side will be competitive by the time the new season starts.

He was talking after Chelsea’s 4-0 hammering by Arsenal, who he admitted looked much more like a team going places.

Chelsea started the transfer window brightly with Todd Boehly’s takeover and new investment. But the summer is turning more sour for them the longer their chase for signings goes on.