Chelsea v Palmeiras: Match in pics
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Chelsea will return to the table for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde this summer after missing out on his signature last year. However, the Blues have been denied their ‘dream’ signing ahead of Thomas Tuchel’s bolstering of his defence in a transfer window of change.
Chelsea heavily pursued Kounde last summer and submitted an offer worth £50million to lure him away from Spain.
And there was initial hope that a deal seeing him land at the European champions would be agreed before the deadline.
However, Sevilla suddenly demanded any suitors pay the 23-year-old’s £68.7m (€80m) release clause to acquire his services.
But Chelsea seemingly haven’t given up on Kounde and will relaunch their bid to sign him at the end of the season.
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Fabrizio Romano reports Chelsea will ‘insist’ to sign the France international during the summer transfer window.
And Sevilla are already monitoring the market for potential replacements, should Kounde depart.
However, he wasn’t Tuchel’s first choice to bolster his backline. Instead, PSG centre-back Marquinhos was the ‘dream’ target.
The Ligue 1 giants have quickly shot down talk of selling Marquinhos, though, which should direct Chelsea back to Kounde.
Tuchel might want to recruit two new centre-halves in the summer, with Chelsea edging ever-closer to a defensive disaster.
Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta are all out of contract in June – three first-team defenders crucial to Tuchel’s plans.
Their departures would leave Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr as the German head coach’s only options.
So it’s no surprise Chelsea are eyeing a big-money move for at least one new central defender.
And the club has also been linked with Brighton & Hove Albion’s Adam Webster, who could arrive on top of Kounde.
In the aftermath of the Kounde deal falling apart last summer, Sevilla sporting director Monchi spoke highly of the Blues’ proposal.
And if they return for his services later this year with a fee around the £69m required to buy out his contract, Monchi could be prepared to offload him.
He told Canal Sur: “The proposal for Kounde last summer [from Chelsea] was great, the most important we received in our history.
“But it wasn’t meeting our price tag. Also, we received the bid in an inopportune moment.”
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