Chelsea make approach for Ligue 1 star in effort to replenish depleting area

Marco Verratti, Lucas Gourna-Douath TEAMtalk

Chelsea have asked for information about Saint-Ettiene midfielder Lucas Gourna-Douath, according to reports in France.

Not 18 until next week, Gourna-Douath has already made 30 appearances for Saint-Ettiene’s first team. Chelsea have been aware of his potential for a while, with reports linking them to him in March. It appears he remains on their radar as they look to plan for the future.

Chelsea have lost some of their younger talents this summer, such as Marc Guehi and Lewis Bate, due to the feeling that there may be better progression pathways elsewhere. However, they are still willing to invest in prospects for the future.

Gourna-Doauth is one of the players they are monitoring, with RMC Sport mentioning Chelsea as one of three clubs to have made enquiries. The others are Bundesliga duo Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen.

All three clubs have sought to see if Gourna-Douath would be available for transfer this summer. They seemingly want to get in on the action before his price rises too much.

But it is another side who are more advanced in the pursuit of the Frenchman. Atalanta, who have a reputation for developing talents, are trying to take him to Italy with a €10m bid.

Saint-Ettiene do not deem that value high enough, given Gourna-Douath’s potential.

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Furthermore, Chelsea and the German pair all seem set to be disappointed as well. According to RMC, Gourna-Douath would prefer to stay with ASSE for one more season.

That would not be too problematic for his current club, who have him under contract until 2023. An extra year developing in familiar surroundings could help him grow even stronger and Saint-Ettiene achieve their objectives.

With that in mind, ASSE plan to extend his contract until 2025. However, with their finances still somewhat delicate, they could cash in – but only if a big offer comes in. At present, no-one looks like presenting what they would require to consider a sale.

Chelsea told Kounde price

Another young Frenchman Chelsea are pursuing – although one much further along in his development than Gourna-Douath – is defender Jules Kounde.

The Blues have been in talks with Sevilla over a potential transfer for the player, who was part of France’s Euro 2020 squad.

Chelsea could sweeten a deal by sending a makeweight in the opposite direction, although there is some disagreement over whom that will be.

It could be an important issue to resolve, though, as they have recently learned a high asking price for the 22-year-old…

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