Granovskaia ‘set to seal the deal’ despite Xavi dream of Barcelona raid for Chelsea target

Marina Granovskaia, Chelsea - pic via Chelsea FC

Chelsea’s hopes of securing the big-money signing of Jules Kounde still remain very much on course despite Barcelona boss Xavi also pushing his side to launch a bid.

The Blues are likely to be in the market for a new defender in 2022 as they face up to the exit of Antonio Rudiger. The Germany centre-half has been the one constant in Chelsea’s rearguard this season. While the likes of Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta have been rotated in and out, Rudiger has remained a near ever-present.

However, he, along with the aforementioned centre-backs, are all out of contract next summer.

Chelsea are believed to be keen on extending the stays of each of the quartet. However, Azpilicueta is a target for Barcelona, and bitter rivals Real Madrid want Rudiger.

Of the four, it is Rudiger who appears the most likely to leave. Indeed, reports last week claim Rudiger has already decided on his next club.

As such, that leaves Chelsea with a huge hole to fill in their rearguard.

Chelsea, though, have been preparing for this outcome, having already identified Kounde as a prime target. They saw efforts to sign the France defender fall short last summer.

However, their bid – worth a reported £50m – was turned down by Sevilla as they held firm to his £68.7m exit clause.

Defender is a man in demand

Six months on and Kounde remains a top target for Chelsea.

However, it seems they are not the only ones, with Manchester United and Tottenham also casting admiring glances his way.

And talk he could be on the move in January has gathered pace in recent days.

That’s after a report stated Kounde’s price tag has dropped from the initial £68.7m Sevilla cravedThey added that while a summer deal still looks most likely, a January switch cannot be ruled out.

Jules Kounde, Sevilla Champions League press

In turn, Blues director Marina Granovskaia is reportedly poised to make another approach to the LaLiga outfit.

However, it seems there’s a new spanner in the works in the form of Barcelona.

As per Sport, new coach Xavi is ‘dreaming’ of a deal to sign Kounde. They state the new Barca coach sees the 23-year-old as a perfect long-term successor to Gerard Pique.

Chelsea and Manchester United to go head-to-head for Sevilla's Jules Kounde

Chelsea and Manchester United are set to go head-to-head for Sevilla's Jules Kounde, after the Blues failed with their attempts to sign the Frenchman last summer, with more updates on Aurelian Tchouameni and Franck Kessie.

They state that, with finances tight, Xavi is exploring ways to finance a potential deal for Kounde. Indeed, despite Barcelona’s struggles, they suggest the centre-half may well be persuaded to stay in Spain with Barcelona.

However, Sport reckons that raising funds might be a step too far for Xavi. Furthermore, they concede that a move to Chelsea still looks the most likely outcome.

In addition, they reckon there is every chance a sizeable January offer from Granovskaia will seal the deal for Chelsea.

Jules Kounde speaks out on future

Kounde for himself has largely let his football do the talking in the wake of the transfer attention on him.

In quotes carried by Football Espana, Kounde reaffirmed his commitment to his current club, claiming they need each other.

“As always. We all know it was a lively summer. Now it is over,” he said.

“I am concentrating on the team, on what I have to do.

“The team needs me and I need the team to perform at our best.

“At the moment, I am happy with the results, with how I am playing, though I have a lot of room to improve and to have a more complete season than last season.”

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