Chelsea will reportedly have to part ways with summer signing Hakim Ziyech if they are to land Jules Kounde from Sevilla in the upcoming transfer window.

According to a report from Spanish publication El Gol Digital, Chelsea have been told to include Moroccan playmaker Hakim Ziyech as part of a deal that would see them land Jules Kounde by La Liga club Sevilla.

Chelsea are in the market for a new centre-back heading into the summer transfer window as Thiago Silva is set to be out of contract at the end of the season. Even if he does sign a new deal, the Brazilian will be 37 years old later this year and will need to be phased out eventually. In addition, Fikayo Tomori’s loan deal could be converted to a permanent one by AC Milan while Cesar Azpilicueta has been linked with an exit as well.

So, recruiting another centre-back in the upcoming transfer window makes a lot of sense for Chelsea. To that end, the Blues have firmly set their sights on La Liga, having been heavily linked with a move for Real Madrid star Raphael Varane. In addition to the Frenchman, the west London giants have also been closely monitoring Jules Kounde as well.

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Kounde signed for Sevilla only in the summer of 2019 but in less than two years in Spain, he has become one of the most coveted young defenders in Europe. The Frenchman played an integral role in Los Nervionenses‘ UEFA Europa League triumph last season and has been critical to their strong current campaign as well, which sees them pretty much in the frame for the La Liga title, as they sit just three points below leaders Atletico Madrid.

Kounde’s progress over the past couple of years has alerted a lot of top clubs including Chelsea and Manchester United. The report, however, adds that the Blues could have an advantage over their Premier League rivals in pursuit of the Frenchman due to their willingness to consider a player-plus-cash deal for the centre-back.

It is also being claimed that Sevilla have narrowed down on the Chelsea player that they would like to sign as part of the deal, with Moroccan ace Hakim Ziyech on their radars. Having arrived at Stamford Bridge only last summer, the former Ajax man has had a stop-start debut season in England due to injuries and the change of management.

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Indeed, Ziyech hasn’t seen opportunities come regularly under new manager Thomas Tuchel who took over the reins of the club in January earlier this year. The Moroccan attacking midfielder had been on Sevilla’s radar before he signed for Chelsea last summer and the La Liga club are now demanding him in a part-exchange deal for Kounde.

As per the report, Sevilla consider Ziyech’s value to be around €30 million and will want an additional €30 million in transfer fees from Chelsea if they are to let Kounde move to England. It now remains to be seen whether the Blues are willing to agree to such a deal or look for alternatives for the Frenchman.

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