Jules Kounde has told Sevilla he wants to leave for a bigger club as Chelsea continue their pursuit of the French centre-back, according to reports.
Chelsea began working on a deal to sign Kounde a few weeks ago. However, they put their pursuit on the backburner to focus on re-signing striker Romelu Lukaku. With Lukaku now back at Stamford Bridge, they can turn their attention back to Kounde.
The 22-year-old has established himself as one of Europe’s most promising centre-backs in recent years. He earned his place in France’s squad for Euro 2020 and will likely be an international for years to come. But after making the breakthrough for his country, he now wants to join a bigger club.
Although Sevilla have qualified for this season’s Champions League, Chelsea won the whole thing just a few months ago. Thomas Tuchel is building for a Premier League title challenge and becoming a Blue would be a step up for Kounde.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the defender is now waiting for Chelsea to approach his club. He has already agreed personal terms, but that will be no use if the Blues can’t agree a fee with Sevilla.
Kounde is protected by a release clause worth €80m, which has now risen to €90m for the last fortnight of the transfer window. But there is a feeling that Sevilla would still be willing to do business for €70m.
Marca back up the idea that Kounde wants to leave, and further the claims by suggesting Sevilla are now looking to cash in because of that. Furthermore, they can earn a record sale by offloading the rising star.
But, despite agreeing that personal terms have been sorted, the source denies that Chelsea have made an approach to Sevilla yet. Instead, they have been working through intermediaries.
Before Chelsea can sign Kounde, they need to offload one of their current centre-backs. Only then are they likely to firm up their interest in Kounde with a formal bid. But with two weeks left of the transfer window, there is still time for them to get their man.
Adding Kounde to a Champions League winning squad would further increase Chelsea’s chances of claiming the domestic title this season. They have been looking for a world-class centre-back to play alongside and then ultimately succeed Thiago Silva.
If they can stump up the money required, Kounde may be their man.
Sevilla invite offers for Kounde
As these reports indicate, Sevilla will not stand in Kounde’s way if he shows a desire to leave.
“Many clubs have asked for Kounde,” said Monchi. “Of course there’s interest but no official bid on the table.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. If an important bid arrives, we’ll sell as this is our policy to improve the team.”