Chelsea open talks with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde

Chelsea have opened talks with Sevilla over the signing of Jules Kounde, having made the central defender their number one defensive target this summer.

Jules Kounde

Jules Kounde, 22, moved to Sevilla from Ligue 1 club Bordeaux in the summer of 2019 and has gone on to establish himself as one of the best young defenders in Europe. The France international made 48 appearances across all competitions last season, helping the Seville-based club qualify for the Champions League. He was part of the Didier Deschamps’ France squad at the Euro 2020.

The centre-back has a release clause of €80m and is open to a move to the Premier League as he’s keen to play in the Champions League next term. Chelsea and Sevilla have opened negotiations for Kounde, who has three years left on his current contract.

Manchester United have also registered their interest in signing the France international, but Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea have made the first move to get the player’s signature.

Thomas Tuchel guided Chelsea to Champions League glory last season after replacing Frank Lampard at the club’s helm in January itself. The German tactician remains keen on bolstering his squad to challenge for the Premier League title as well as defend the Champions League crown.

The Pensioners are yet to sign a player in the ongoing transfer window, however; it is understood they are closing in on former Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli on a free transfer to replace Willy Caballero, 39, who was released in the summer.

Thomas Tuchel wants a new centre-back at Stamford Bridge

Tuchel’s 3-4-3/3-5-2 system worked wonders for the Blues, making them very robust and rigid defensively.

Antonio Rudiger enjoyed a renaissance in form playing in a back-three unit, delivering some eye-catching performances at the business end of the 2020/21 campaign. He had formed a great understanding with fellow defenders Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen, with Cesar Azpilicueta also operating at centre-back at times.

But with Chelsea having sold Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi to AC Milan and Crystal Palace respectively, Thiago Silva turning 37 and Kurt Zouma attracting interest from Spurs after falling out of favour, Tuchel wants to add a new centre-back to his defensive ranks.

Jules Kounde could be a sensational signing for the Blues

Jules Kounde is one of the most promising centre-backs in La Liga with the potential to become a top-class defender in the future. The 22-year-old is a quick, agile and strong player, who uses his pace and awareness to make crucial interceptions and tackles.

The Frenchman is a good passer and likes to maraud forward with the ball before making a key pass. At Sevilla, he has shown his ability to command the box, organise the backline and chip in with important goals. Plus, Kounde can play at both right-back and centre-half, and the sort of versatility has certainly enticed Chelsea.

The former Bordeaux man has certain qualities that could help him quickly settle in the fast-paced nature of English football. Kounde would unquestionably add quality to Chelsea’s defensive ranks, whilst making Tuchel’s squad better for next season.

Thus, the Blues must quickly wrap up the Kounde deal and move on to their other transfer targets.

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