Chelsea have reportedly been handed a major boost in pursuit of Jules Kounde, with Sevilla prepared to negotiate a deal for less than €60 million.

According to a report by ESPN, Chelsea and Sevilla are inching closer to agreeing on a deal to sign Jules Kounde. The Blues could sign the 23-year-old defender for a transfer fee ranging between €50 million and €60 million, with personal terms a formality.

Jules Kounde has established himself as one of the best defenders in La Liga since joining Sevilla from Bordeaux in July 2019. Over the last two and a half years, the French international has gone from strength to strength at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium. He has even established himself as a regular for Les Bleus while being a part of the nation’s UEFA Nations League triumph this year.

To date, the 23-year-old has made 109 appearances for Sevilla, chipping in with six goals and two assists in the process. Kounde’s progress since joining Los Nervionenses has not gone unnoticed, with some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Chelsea, turning their attention towards him.

Chelsea had been heavily linked with Kounde in the summer transfer window, but a move failed to materialise. The Blues were unwilling to pay €80 million to secure the services of the Frenchman, with Sevilla remaining adamant on getting the entire amount of his release clause.

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Recent reports had claimed that Chelsea had ended their interest in the 23-year-old, but it looks like their pursuit has not been called off. And instead of having to pay €80 million to land him, the Blues will have to shell out a sum in the region of €50 million and €60 million.

The continued interest in Kounde makes sense, as Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen face uncertain futures at Stamford Bridge. Rudiger, in particular, is inching closer to leaving Chelsea, with a move to Real Madrid likely.

However, Chelsea cannot rest easy with Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva in the final years of their respective contracts. That is why the pursuit of Kounde is alive and kicking, and the latest development comes as a major boost for the west Londoners.

But while spending less than €60 million aligns with Chelsea’s thought process, they are also keeping contingency plans in place if they fail to sign Kounde. To that end, Maxence Lacroix and Sven Botman have also emerged on Chelsea’s radar, and it will be interesting to see if any of the three centre-backs arrives at Stamford Bridge anytime soon.

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