Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson believes his old club would be taking a big risk signing Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
The Blues have been heavily linked with a move for the French centre-half in the last two transfer windows. And those rumours have started to ramp up once again, with Thomas Tuchel now short at the back after the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger on free transfers.
A move for Kounde would not come cheap, with various reports putting his price tag at a hefty £76million. And former Chelsea ace Johnson, who starred for the club between 2003 and 2007, reckons that sort of outlay is a big risk for a player who has not played in the Premier League.
"In that sort of position, then yes I do believe £76 million would be a risk," the 37-year-old former England star told Bettingodds.com.
"We've seen a lot of big money transfers from other leagues that haven't worked. I'd certainly be a lot more cautious about spending that sort of money on a player that's never played in the Premier League," he added.
Johnson's comments now carry even more weight after France boss Didier Deschamps revealed Kounde requires surgery on a long-standing injury issue.
The 23-year-old was subbed off at half-time during Les Bleus' UEFA Nations League defeat at home to Croatia on Monday night, with Deschamps admitting afterwards that it was not a tactical decision.
It turns out Kounde has been struggling with injury issues for several months but chose to avoid surgery until after France's last batch of fixtures, only now choosing to go under the knife.
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"I knew very well his physical condition today," Deschamps said when asked about the decision to sub Kounde. "Tomorrow [Tuesday] he will have a [surgical] intervention because he has a problem that has been going on for several months."
However, both the extent of Kounde's injury and his length of absence are an unknown, putting Chelsea in a tricky position as they bid to solve their defensive woes.
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