Premier League • England

Chelsea under pressure to complete Jules Kounde move as Euro giants draw up player exchange deal

Sevilla defender Jules Kounde

Chelsea will have to overcome a charge from Barcelona if they want to sign Jules Kounde this summer, according to a report.

Chelsea were looking into a deal for the Sevilla centre-back last summer but couldn’t meet the Spanish club’s asking price. Sevilla’s director of football, Monchi, says a deal is there to be struck. However, he will only sanction Kounde’s exit if the fee is right for his side.

The Blues put £43million on the table for Kounde in 2021. But this fell way short of the £68.7m Sevilla want.

Kounde has been one of the best defenders in La Liga this season, which is why his value is so high.

Chelsea’s summer transfer plans are still being finalised, with Todd Boehly close to buying the club from Roman Abramovich.

But if they do have money to part with, then it would be well worth spending £68.7m on Kounde.

He would be a great replacement for Antonio Rudiger in Thomas Tuchel’s defence. The German manager is also set to lose Andreas Christensen to Barcelona, making the need for a new centre-half even more pressing.

However, it will not be easy for Chelsea to land France international Kounde.

Chelsea joined in Jules Kounde chase

That’s because Barcelona and Newcastle are providing competition for his services, according to Spanish source Mundo Deportivo (via The Sun).

Barca chiefs are well aware of Kounde’s ability after coming up against him twice in La Liga this season.

They are planning to enter transfer talks with Sevilla after drawing up a potential deal.

The report claims Barca will offer current defenders Clement Lenglet and Sergino Dest in exchange for Kounde.

Lenglet, one of Kounde’s team-mates at international level, would replace the 23-year-old in the heart of Sevilla’s defence. Dest, meanwhile, would bolster their options at right-back.

Newcastle are also part of the race to snare Kounde. They have the funds to land him thanks to their big-money takeover in October.

The decision now rests with Sevilla. They can either go with a player exchange deal by selecting Barca, or pick up a proper transfer fee through Chelsea or Newcastle.

The best club for Kounde to join could be Chelsea. He will immediately become a starter at Stamford Bridge due to the exits of Rudiger and Christensen.

Plus, Tuchel can offer Kounde Champions League football, which cannot be said for Newcastle.

Barca will also compete in Europe’s elite club competition next season. But they are still going through big changes under Xavi and are unlikely to go far in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have found out whether Erik ten Hag will launch a Manchester United move for Hakim Ziyech this summer.