Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Blues player ratings
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Chelsea have had a surprisingly tough time landing some of their more ambitious targets this summer, with the exception of Romelu Lukaku. Jules Kounde is the latest to slip through the net, unless the Blues spring a surprise on deadline day to spur the deal back into life, but their director Marina Granovskaia maintains belief that the Frenchman will be available in the future.
Having monitored a host of players this summer, Thomas Tuchel and Granovskaia round off the window amid links to both Saul Niguez and Kounde.
With the Saul deal now ‘completely blocked’, the prospects of signing Kounde are not much rosier after a tough day of negotiations on Monday.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Sevilla are playing hardball when it comes to the sale of their star defender unless someone pays his £68million release clause.
Their sporting director Monchi said: “Jules Koundé has chances to leave the club if some club will pay the release clause. Chelsea made a bid last week but we didn’t like it.”
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Their firm stance should be fairly predictable given Manchester City’s failed pursuit of the centre-back last summer, in which Sevilla shunned their £50m offer.
However, according to The Telegraph, Granovskaia remains calm due to her belief in the fact that there will be other opportunities down the line to lure in Kounde.
He is still only 22-years-old, so the longer he stays out in Spain, the more he should mature and improve.
The youngster’s contract does not expire until 2024, but the closer he gets to that expiration date, the more Sevilla will have to open up to the idea of cashing in.
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Based on the club’s stubborn tactics in recent windows, the player will be unlikely to pen a new deal out in Spain if he wants to seal a future move away.
If Sevilla continue to stand firm and Chelsea do not get their man this summer, the Blues are likely to have enough depth in defence to avoid disaster.
Kurt Zouma’s departure for West Ham has left a vacancy in the squad, but the surprise breakthrough of Trevoh Chalobah should have the impact of a new signing in itself.
A number of alternatives remain in the market such as Pau Torres, Edmond Tapsoba and Niklas Sule, although it remains to be seen whether Granovskaia will give chase.
Given their £98m spend on Lukaku, the club are likely to have an eye on finances, which is presumably why they have not recklessly splashed out on Kounde as yet.
One thing that is clear at Stamford Bridge, however, is serious intent.
After building momentum since Tuchel’s January appointment as boss, winning the Champions League, starting the season well and seeing others strengthening around them, Chelsea have evidently felt as though this summer was the right time to scour the market and put themselves right amongst the big boys, even if many of their moves did not come off.
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