Chelsea set straight by Sevilla with resolution coming in Jules Kounde transfer saga
Sevilla have handed Chelsea a strict deadline they must adhere to if they’re to sign Jules Kounde, and a report has revealed why they’re favourites in the race ahead of Barcelona.
The Blues have been linked with the French centre-half for the third transfer window running. Sevilla’s strong bargaining position helped to scupper Chelsea’s plans the previous two times. Indeed, reports at the time suggested they were seeking upwards of £60m and potentially as much as £70m for the 23-year-old.
However, fast forward to present day and Sevilla’s position has now softened. What’s more, Chelsea’s need for new centre-halves has heightened.
Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have left. There also remains doubts over the futures of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Matthijs de Ligt is the most high profile name linked with filling the void. However, it’s likely at least two new defenders will be signed.
According to the Mirror, Chelsea are expected to mobilise in the market and talks over a Kounde deal should recommence next week.
The player already has an agreement over personal terms in place. The issue stems from Chelsea thus far being reluctant to match Sevilla’s transfer fee demand, which currently sits at around £56m.
Aware the saga is dragging on and thus hampering their own plans, Sevilla have reportedly set a deadline of July 5 to get a deal done. Presumably, if Chelsea don’t wrap up an agreement in the next 10 days, Sevilla will retain the player through the window.
Chelsea frontrunners for Jules Kounde
The Mirror cite a source within Sevilla that stated: “The delay is affecting our ability to plan for the new season and that is the key reason for setting a date.”
Newcastle had drawn links with the centre-back, though their interest will likely subside now they’ve reached an agreement for Sven Botman.
Elsewhere, Barcelona were reportedly interested in hijacking Chelsea’s move and the Mirror add they’ve let it be known they can summon up a package worth £51.5m.
However, that sum is still below Sevilla’s valuation, meaning Chelsea are still well positioned if they’re willing to stump up the full £56m.
Chelsea transfer action coming
Aside from in defence, Thomas Tuchel’s side are also looking to revamp their forward line.
Transfer targets in the final third include Raheem Sterling, Ousmane Dembele and Brazilian quartet Richarlison, Antony, Raphinha and Gabriel Jesus.
Romelu Lukaku’s impending loan return to Inter Milan was a stumbling block that had to be overcome. With the Belgian on the way out, Tuchel will seek to give his frontline a more fluid and mobile feel.
Cristiano Ronaldo also remarkably emerged as a contender to join the Blues. However, Man Utd are expected to stand firm on that front.