Chelsea have reportedly reached an agreement with French defender Jules Kounde over personal terms but are yet to negotiate a transfer fee with Sevilla.
According to Goal Spain, Chelsea are set to make a final push to try and secure the signing of 23-year-old French centre-back Jules Kounde from La Liga club Sevilla in the summer transfer window.
Kounde has been one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe for almost a year now. Having signed for Sevilla from Bordeaux in 2019, the French defender has been nothing short of a revelation. In his debut season with the Spanish outfit, he helped the club win the UEFA Europa League and has played a key role in ensuring Los Nervionenses achieve top-four finishes in back-to-back seasons since then.
Kounde’s stock has risen rapidly during his time at Sevilla, and he came very close to leaving the club last summer as Chelsea made great efforts to secure his signing. However, Sevilla decided to increase their asking price for the Frenchman at the last moment, leading to the move collapsing.
Having stayed put at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Kounde has impressed heavily again and has never left Chelsea’s attention. The Blues are in the market for defensive reinforcements as Antonio Rudiger is set to join Real Madrid on a Bosman deal, while Andreas Christensen is headed to Barcelona.
Kounde, to that end, has emerged as the top target for Chelsea to replace Rudiger. As per the report, the Blues are set to make a final effort to sign him once the current campaign is over. The west London club had been held back by the ownership issues. But with the consortium led by American billionaire Todd Boehly set to complete a takeover, they will be able to go after players in the market.
The new owners are reportedly ready to splash the cash on new signings to ensure that Chelsea remain a superpower in European football, and Kounde is now a prime target for the club. The report adds that Sevilla will be open to selling their prized asset as they need to balance their books, although they will not let him go for any price.
Kounde’s release clause stands at somewhere between €80-90 million. Having previously rejected offers of up to €55 million for him, Sevilla would be willing to accept a bid of at least €70 million for the French international. With the new owners ready to back Thomas Tuchel in the transfer window, that might not be an issue for Chelsea.
Barcelona are also keen on signing Kounde but are unlikely to be able to match Chelsea’s financial clout. Furthermore, the report adds that Chelsea already have an agreement with the 23-year-old over personal terms, which gives them a huge advantage in pursuit of the Frenchman.
The report does not divulge any information regarding the length of the contract or the wages that Chelsea have offered Kounde. But it claims that the only thing that stands in the way of the west Londoners is striking an agreement with Sevilla over transfer fees. It remains to be seen if the second time is the charm for Chelsea in their pursuit of the former Bordeaux starlet.
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