Chelsea’s proposed move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde has been given the seal of approval by former Blues star Frank Leboeuf.
Centre-back Kounde has emerged as Thomas Tuchel’s top defensive target this summer.
Talks are understood to have taken place between the two clubs, but Chelsea need to offload one of their existing centre-back’s before any deal can be moved forward.
The Telegraph suggest Tuchel has been told he will need to offload one of his current defenders before landing Kounde. And the most likely departure is Kurt Zouma.
Zouma has been linked with a move to Spain. But he is understood to be keen on remaining in the Premier League.
As for Kounde, the 22-year-old holds a £68m release clause within his current contract. And Sevilla are not in any mood to let him leave on the cheap.
Former Chelsea defender Leboeuf though thinks the France international would be a good signing.
The 53-year-old says even though Kounde might not be a regular initially, he is a “warrior” and the “future”.
“(Kounde) is a fantastic player,” Leboeuf told ESPN. “He has everything and he is a warrior and he never gives up. He has everything and is the future for sure.
“Maybe it’s an opportunity for Chelsea to get him maybe not this season, but next season.
“I don’t know what Kounde wants to do in his life, if he’s ready to be on the bench more than he thinks he will be. It’s up to him. It would be a good signing for Chelsea.”
Sarri chasing Hudson-Odoi
Meanwhile, former Chelsea boss Maurizo Sarri could hand a former favourite an Italian lifeline, per a report.
This summer saw great upheaval among the managerial ranks in Serie A. The vast majority of the top sides changed manager, and ex-Chelsea boss Sarri took the reins at Lazio after Simone Inzaghi left for Inter Milan.
Sarri is faced with the difficult aim of thrusting Lazio back into the top four mix. Last season, the Rome club finished 10 points adrift of the final Champions League qualification position.
However, his task could soon get harder after Argentine winger Joaquin Correa was recently linked to Arsenal and Tottenham.
Sarri confirmed the 26-year-old has requested to leave at his unveiling. That was swiftly followed up by the Italian press crediting both North London sides with interest over a potential move costing €40m.
News on that front had since gone quiet. However, the latest from the Italian media has suggested a move could be back on.
That’s because Lazio are said to be keeping an eye on a potential replacement in Chelsea winger, Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Italian outlet Il Messaggero (via Italian Football News) reveal Sarri’s past admiration for the flyer could see him handed a chance to shine in Italy.