Chelsea are prepared to play another card from their hand after West Ham threw a spanner in the works over a transfer Tuchel craves, per a report.
The Blues’ season was transformed last year upon the arrival of their enigmatic German manager. Tuchel got the best out of a crop of stars who were underperforming under Frank Lampard, and his switch to a back three was a revelation.
With a second Champions League title in the cabinet, Chelsea look set to continue with the system for as long as Tuchel remains in charge.
However, despite performing so well as a unit last year, Chelsea have been linked with adding a new face to the ranks.
Sevilla’s Jules Kounde has risen to the top of their wish-list. The France centre-half can be signed for £68m via his release clause. Though Chelsea have been hard at work bringing the total cost of a deal down.
A recent report revealed the Blues were prepared to use Kurt Zouma as bait in a cash-plus-player offering.
Sevilla were understood to be receptive to that idea, though were holding out for more than the £30m Chelsea included.
West Ham then threw a spanner in the works when registering their interest in Zouma. Talks over a £20m transfer are said to be underway. And progress could be on the horizon with Zouma believed to wish to remain in England where he is settled.
Removing Zouma from the Kounde equation would stiffen Sevilla’s resolve. But per the Guardian, Chelsea could try their luck by adding Emerson Palmieri to the mix.
The Italian full-back is up for sale and had frequently been linked with a return to Serie A. Whether Sevilla would be open to Emerson’s inclusion is unstated. However, the Express insist Palmieri would not command the level of fee Zouma would.
As such, even if Sevilla accept Palmieri’s inclusion, Chelsea will still need to significantly raise the cash part of the deal to land the star Tuchel is described as ‘hellbent’ on signing.
Granovskaia grand plan involves Chelsea sacrifice
Meanwhile, Chelsea remain on the hunt for a world-class striker this summer, with the latest reports suggesting that Marina Granovskaia has a plan in place that involves Timo Werner heading to Italy as part of a swap deal.
Erling Haaland remains the club’s top target, but the Norwegian’s price tag continues to soar. Indeed, Borussia Dortmund want well over £100million for the goalscoring machine.
With that in mind, former Stamford Bridge forward Romelu Lukaku remains a more attainable option. According to Italian football journalist Alfredo Pedulla, via Sempre Inter, the Blues will offer Werner as part of a swap deal.
Sky Germany recently reported that the Blues were open to the idea of moving on from Werner, with a potential switch to Bayern Munich mooted. They have seemingly come to that decision despite the German only having one season of Premier League football.
However, it would appear that Inter are so far refusing to play ball. Indeed, they are very clear over where Lukaku’s future lies.
The Italian club’s chief executive, Beppe Marotta, told Mediaset: “Romelu Lukaku is untouchable for us this summer, absolutely. He’s a key player for Inter.”