Tuchel comments after Chelsea wrap up deal for Lukaku return
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Chelsea have been desperately pursuing Jules Kounde this summer as they look to bolster their defence for the new Premier League campaign. And their need for reinforcements may be explained by something which could be bothering chief Marina Granovskaia.
Chelsea may have to find £68million to meet Kounde’s release clause if they are to sign him during the current transfer window.
The Stamford Bridge club, however, have been trying to reduce that figure by touting some of their current players to Sevilla in part-exchange for Kounde.
Kurt Zouma was apparently offered to the Spanish giants but baulked at the prospect of leaving the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Marcus Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi could be used as bargaining chips to facilitate a deal for Kounde.
The France international would certainly help Chelsea’s defence become even better were he to make the move to west London.
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Kounde impressed for Sevilla in La Liga last season as his side conceded just 33 goals on their way to a fourth-place finish.
And the 22-year-old certainly looks ready to excel in the Premier League.
Chelsea’s pursuit of Kounde may be explained by the fact that a plethora of their first-team stars are out of contract next summer.
Two players who could be free to leave Stamford Bridge when their contracts expire are defensive duo Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.
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Both have featured heavily for the Blues in recent years and, with a combined value of over £50m according to Transfermarkt, Chelsea will not want to see them leave for nothing.
Granovskaia will be fighting tooth and nail to get the defenders to put pen-to-paper on new deals before other clubs come in for them.
Meanwhile, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and left-back Emerson are also out of contract next season, as is Thiago Silva.
Silva turns 37 next month and won’t command much of a transfer fee, but Azpilicueta and Emerson are worth nearly £25m in total.
If those five defenders all depart, Chelsea would be in trouble and would have a huge rebuild on their hands.
And with Tiemoue Bakayoko, Michy Batshuayi and Davide Zappacosta also coming to the end of their deals in 2022, Chelsea know they need to act fast to avoid the double whammy of losing around £100m of player value.
Wing-back Alonso has been tipped for a move away during the current transfer window, with Inter apparently interested, and Chelsea cannot afford a mass exodus.
Granovskaia will have to get to work to ensure Chelsea are not left in an unenviable position come the end of the season.
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