Chelsea hatch plan to secure first summer signing immediately after Todd Boehly takeover

Antonio Rudiger admits he could have stayed at Chelsea

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Chelsea reportedly have plans in place to secure a blockbuster summer swoop for Jules Kounde straight after Todd Boehly completes his takeover and sanctions are lifted. To make matters even sweeter for the Blues, Sevilla are also hoping to seal the deal as quickly as possible so they can set about finding his replacement. 

Chelsea have held a longstanding interest in Kounde, but their various approaches have fallen short due to the Spanish side’s tough stance on letting him go. But after three years of stellar service, Sevilla are reportedly prepared to wave goodbye in an effort to raise funds.  

According to GOAL, Thomas Tuchel and co are hoping to conclude a summer deal for Kounde as soon as their ownership situation is resolved. Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government back in March, and a consortium spearheaded by American billionaire Todd Boehly appears to be edging closer to a successful takeover. The club’s special government-granted license is due to expire at the end of the month. 

Having beaten off competition from rival bidders, the prospective new owners are expected to flex their financial muscles as a sign of ambition. Boehly already owns Major League Baseball team LA Dodgers, and his group is about to shell out £4.25billion to acquire the west London side. 

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Kounde’s signature would be a huge statement to kick things off, having shone at Sevilla and worked his way into the extremely competitive French national setup. The 23-year-old can play at centre-back or on the right side of defence and would reportedly cost £59million. 

Chelsea are set to prioritise defensive recruitment this summer with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both bound for La Liga, and Cesar Azpilicueta threatening to follow. Tuchel’s transfer plans have been left in the lurch by behind-the-scenes matters, but the Blues could show fans that they are back in business by sewing up a swoop for Kounde. 

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Personal terms are not expected to be an issue with the young defender, as a move was almost done and dusted in January before the fee and timing prompted Sevilla to walk away. If, for whatever reason, Chelsea’s imminent plans for Kounde fall through then Presnel Kimpembe, Josko Gvardiol and Jose Gimenez are all believed to be on the club’s hit list. 

A handful of new recruits will be needed this summer given the number of players heading for the exit door, but Tuchel and Boehly also stand to benefit from a promising crop of returning loan stars. Conor Gallagher and Levi Colwill are among them and could make an impact on the first team next season. 

While Boehly’s takeover is not yet signed and sealed, he has reportedly had dinner with Tuchel already. Transfer talk was not on the agenda, but it certainly could be over the coming weeks. 

“He paid some money for [the club], so I don’t think he is keen to drop the ambition,” said Tuchel. “We will share our opinion in more detail over the next weeks and I am sure he is as ambitious to build a competitive Chelsea for the highest level.”

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