Chelsea look to be closing in on their second summer transfer in the form of talented defender Jules Kounde.
Kounde, 22, is reported to have many admirers this summer with the west Londoners the latest to join the queue for the Frenchman, who is angling for a move away to a club that have a good chance of winning next season’s Champions League.
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reported yesterday that talks had been opened between Chelsea and Sevilla, with the Blues looking to strengthen their already-resilient backline ahead of a potential title charge next season in the Premier League.
The Italian transfer guru’s latest update on the deal was as follows: ‘Chelsea and Sevilla are discussing to reach an agreement for Jules Koundé/Kurt Zouma swap deal. Talks progressing – Chelsea now offering around €30/35m and Zouma included in the negotiation.
‘Personal terms are not a problem for Koundé who’s waiting to join Chelsea.’
The 22-year-old has also been touted as a potential Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos replacement for Real Madrid, but financial troubles so far this summer have meant that they are unable to actively pursue Kounde this summer.
However, this hasn’t stopped Spanish journalist Álvaro Montero from making a big claim on behalf of the young defender, who looks close to sealing his move to west London.
“Now, they say it’s almost impossible [to replace Varane] because they [Real Madrid] don’t want to spend a lot of money,” Montero told Sky Sports via HITC.
“But as we say here in Spain ‘the summer is very long’, so let’s see what happens in August.
“If I had to bet for a player that Real Madrid likes then it’s Jules Kounde’s, the French guy from Sevilla.
“The player loves the idea of signing for Real Madrid. But Sevilla will ask almost 70 million Euros. I believe he will wait to play in the Premier League because he’s decided that his dream is to sign for Real Madrid.
“Let us see if this happens this summer. If not then I think it will go next year.”
Meeting the asking price for the defender appears to not be a problem for Chelsea’s transfer chief Marina Granovskaia, who will try and involve fellow French defender Zouma – who is valued at up to €40m (34m) by the CIES Football Observatory – into the operation to bring Kounde to the Premier League.
Away from Montero’s claims, recent reports have also emerged stating that Premier League clubs are looking to hijack the deal, with several teams interested in Zouma, including Chelsea’s London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Kounde featured in 49 games last season for Sevilla, playing an integral part in helping the Andalusian side keep a total of 15 clean sheets in La Liga. He also played once for France in Euro 2020.
He was an unused sub in Sevilla’s 2-2 pre-season draw with French giants Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night, suggesting a transfer to Chelsea could be in the offing, as Julien Lopetegui may well be preparing for life without the talented centre-back.