Chelsea failed in £85m transfer plan to sign Thomas Tuchel favourite as Jules Kounde alternative


Chelsea reportedly made a last-minute attempt to sign Thomas favourite Marquinhos from Paris Saint-Germain towards the end of the summer transfer window as they targeted an alternative option to Jules Kounde.

Marquinhos, 27, was first linked to making a last-minute move to west London by the Mirror, who reported at the time that Tuchel was keen to be reunited with him in the capital.

RMC Sport via (Get French Football News) now state that Marina Granovskaia was prepared to offer up to €100million (£85million) to secure the services of the highly-rated Brazilian.

However, the report goes on to clarify that both the player himself and his club said no to the proposal, ultimately resulting in the Blues failing to secure the signing of a central defender.


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Jules Kounde was the hot favourite to move to Stamford Bridge this summer, but the west Londoners’ reluctance to pay the full release clause of £68million prevented any deal being struck between Chelsea and Sevilla.

This is despite reports coming out saying that the two club’s had verbally agreed a £42million price for the defender, only for Kurt Zouma’s sale to West Ham prompting a surprising U-turn by Monchi.

“The only offer from Chelsea for Kounde was last Wednesday for an amount we didn’t like,” he said on the final day of the summer transfer window.

“It was not enough for us. We responded with a counter-offer which had a deadline of Friday, to allow us to be able to sign a replacement. They did not respond to that counter-offer before Friday.



SEVILLA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14: Jules Kounde of Sevilla FC during the UEFA Champions League match between Sevilla v Salzburg at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on September 14, 2021 in Sevilla Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Jules Kounde has moved on from his disappointment in not being able to seal Chelsea move in the summer according to the latest reports

“Kounde’s clause never went up to €90million (£77.2million). It has always been €80million (£68.7million). We met at the end of May to discuss our targets for the window.

“I’m happy with how it went, but not 100% satisfied. There have been some factors such as the salary cap that have affected the plans.”

Even Tuchel openly admitted after the transfer window slammed shut that he wanted Kounde to come in.

He said: “I assured everybody that I’m also happy if we cannot bring a player in. We will find the solution within the squad. We will push players within the squad.

“But it was clear we tried for Kounde and Saul and it was very, very late, but it was a very, very smooth transfer window because I had full concentration on training and on my team.”

Nonetheless, the German’s admission in regards to the 22-year-old didn’t seem to put him off moving for other targets and if the latest French reports are to be believed, then Marqunhos could have been the player that joined as Zouma’s replacement.

During Tuchel’s time in charge at the Parc des Princes, the versatile defender was a regular fixture in his team, often playing at centre-back or slightly further forward in defensive-midfield.

But wherever he was deployed and asked to play under Tuchel, the German was always full of praise for what he brought to the team, so much so that he waxed lyrical about him in October last year.

As quoted by Ligue1.com, Tuchel said: “Marquinhos is the heart and soul of our team. That’s why he must play at the heart of the action, but also because he’s talented.

“He has all the qualities to play in midfield, and has a worker’s mentality. He can help the defenders and the forwards at the same time. It’s important that he’s close to everybody as he’s the boss.

“Marqui covers more ground than anybody else in the team and is valuable in the counter-pressing.”

As outlined above, the Brazilian can play at either centre-back or defensive-midfield, a quality that also drew praise from his former head coach.

“If ‘Marqui’ needs to play at the back, then he will, but he has proven his ability in midfield,” Tuchel added. “He can really push the team to its best level.

“He did that several times last season [2019/20], notably during the ‘Final 8’ [UEFA Champions League] in Portugal. He scored against Atalanta and Leipzig. He is exceptional.”

His defensive solidity coupled alongside his ability to play out from the back as demonstrated by the 93.1% pass completion success rate (third-best in the league last season as per FBref.com) highlights his suitability to play in a Tuchel team.

football.london understands that the ship may have sailed on this potential transfer as Granovskaia could instead reignite the club’s Kounde interest in January as she aims to complete a cut-price deal for the £68million defender.





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