Real Madrid are reportedly preparing an offer for Sevilla’s French defender Jules Kounde for the summer but could face competition from Chelsea.

According to a report from Defensa Central, Real Madrid have their sights set on a summer move for Jules Kounde, but may have to stave off interest from Premier League bigwigs Chelsea for the 22-year-old Sevilla star.

Kounde came through the youth ranks at French club Bordeaux before making the switch to Sevilla in the summer of 2019. In his two years in Spain, the centre-back has grown leaps and bounds, establishing himself as a mainstay at the heart of the backline for the Andalusian giants, helping them to the UEFA Europa League title in his debut season, followed by a top-four finish in the 2020/21 term.

Kounde, on his form, has also managed to break into the star-studded France national team as well and was part of the side that won the UEFA Nations League earlier this month. The 22-year-old’s rise to prominence in Spain has not gone unnoticed as Chelsea were trying ardently to sign him in the summer but a deal fell through.

Real Madrid, too, had been credited with an interest, but there was no approach made. However, that could be set to change for the next summer window, if the aforementioned report is to be believed. Los Blancos lost two of their defensive mainstays in the form of Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos earlier this year.

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While David Alaba has arrived and slotted in seamlessly, Carlo Ancelotti & co. remain in the market for another top-class centre-back to partner the Austrian, considering that Jesus Vallejo is not favoured all that much by the manager while Nacho is not getting any younger, leaving Eder Militao as the only viable partner for Alaba.

A move for Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer has been mooted strongly, but Kounde is very much on the agenda for Real Madrid. This is because the 22-year-old can easily play at right-back, as he has done for the French national team. And that versatility is valued at the Bernabeu, considering that the Merengues have had issues in the right-back slot of late.

To that end, club president Florentino Perez is now said to be readying an offer for the Frenchman. As per the report, Sevilla value Kounde in the range of €70-80 million, but the Real Madrid supremo believes an offer of around €30-40 million plus a player of the La Liga club’s liking could do the trick.

However, things might not be straightforward for Real Madrid, as Chelsea could rekindle their interest in the 22-year-old come summer next year. The Blues will have Andreas Christensen, Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva all out of contract at the end of the season. Even if one does not sign an extension and leaves, there will be a hole left in the backline that would need to be filled.

While they have been offered the services of Matthijs de Ligt, Kounde still remains on the agenda. With Real Madrid also eyeing a move for the 22-year-old, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top in this race.

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