Chelsea are unperturbed in their pursuit of Jules Kounde despite Sevilla selling another of their centre-backs, with Diego Carlos set to join Aston Villa in a move that will ease the Spanish side’s financial concerns.
Thomas Tuchel has made strengthening Chelsea’s defence his top priority in the summer transfer window, with the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers leaving a big hole in the backline.
The west London club pursued Kounde for much of last summer, though Sevilla were adamant he would only be sold if his £68million release clause was met, and they intend to reignite their interest when the window reopens.
Chelsea’s hopes of prising Kounde away had been boosted this time around because Sevilla needed to raise around £38m before June 30 in order to balance their books and remain within La Liga’s financial regulations.
But unfortunately for the Blues, the sanctions the club are still having to operate under meant they have been unable to enter into talks with the Spanish side and take advantage of their precarious situation.
That was not the case for Aston Villa, though, who have swooped in and secured a £26m deal for Diego Carlos and announced that an agreement had been struck on Thursday afternoon.
The Brazilian still needs to complete a medical and finalise personal terms, but his looming departure has already gone some lengths to easing Sevilla’s financial predicament and considerably reduced their need to cash in on Kounde.
According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, however, Chelsea remain committed to trying to sign Kounde as soon as their restrictions have been lifted and have no intention of giving up.
Tuchel wants Kounde to play on the right side of his back three and the Frenchman himself is said to be ‘desperate’ to join the west Londoners after missing out on a move to the Premier League last summer.
Chelsea are unperturbed in their pursuit and still intend to open talks with Sevilla once their sanctions have been lifted – though they may now need to stump up more cash.
The Blues had hoped they could land Kounde for around £59m – significantly less than the fee Sevilla were holding out for last summer – but with the profit from Diego Carlos’ sale the Spanish side are now likely to demand his buyout clause is met in full.
In addition to signing the 23-year-old, Tuchel also wants to bring in a left-sided centre-back to replace Rudiger with RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol top of their wish list – though he will not come cheap either.
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