Chelsea have potentially been handed a major curve ball ahead of the upcoming transfer window as Thomas Tuchel eyes a ‘rebuild’ in west London. Todd Boehly, who has agreed a £4.25billion deal to buy the Blues, is expected to ‘push for A-list signings’ to mark a new era at Stamford Bridge, according to the MailOnline.
Chelsea are set to lose two first team centre backs this summer, and could yet lose a third. To compound that, one of the options that will remain is 37 years old.
That means at least two players coming in, and while we know one of them will likely be Jules Kounde of Sevilla, that can’t be the end of it.
And, among the highly-anticipated marquee signings that could arrive at Stamford Bridge in the summer is Jules Kounde. The France international has featured 31 times for Sevilla in La Liga this season, playing a significant role in the Spanish giants retaining the best defensive record in the league. His impressive displays have attracted the attention of Europe’s leading sides.
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 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, Julen Lopetegui’s side 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, 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.
According to Goal, the groundwork has been put in place to sign the 23-year-old as soon as sanctions are lifted and the UK Government give the takeover the green light. The Blues were linked with Kounde ahead of the season and were understood to have agreed a deal worth around £43 million, according to The Athletic.
However, the subsequent sale of Kurt Zouma to West Ham reportedly saw Sevilla’s sporting director, Monchi, increase the asking price to £69 million to which Chelsea then halted their pursuit. But, while Kounde has been heavily linked with a move to west London, Real Madrid have also been credited with an interest in the Frenchman, according to reports.
So much so that last summer, Spanish outlet ABC claimed that the centre-half has already told Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe that he’d like to join Los Blancos. Regardless of whether Boehly secures Kounde’s services, Tuchel is keen to undergo a rebuild at Chelsea this summer.
Speaking to football.london, the Blues boss said: “We are rebuilding, not improving the squad. We are rebuilding. This is always challenging, but we are up for the challenge.
“I don’t know where we are from day one. What I can promise is that I will be here – if I can promise that – I will be here with full energy and positive energy no matter what. We will still work for Chelsea, and I refuse to think of negative scenarios. We will be competitive, on which level we will see.”