Chelsea have been dealt a setback in their pursuit of Jules Kounde, with other Premier League clubs rumoured to be circling around the defender. The Blues were reported to be in advanced talks with Sevilla, with the Frenchman excited about the prospect of moving to Stamford Bridge.
Transfer chief Marina Granovskaia is supposedly preparing Kurt Zouma as part of a swap deal to bring Kounde to west London.
Sevilla seem to be open to the idea of swap deals, given they recently completed a part-exchange with Tottenham involving Bryan Gil and Erik Lamela.
The Spanish side also reportedly accepted Spurs’ bid for Kounde earlier in the summer, which would have seen Davinson Sanchez head the other way.
Unfortunately for Tottenham, Kounde snubbed the offer and decided to wait for other opportunities.
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With a cash-only offer almost always preferable, other Premier League clubs could have scope to hijack the deal if they flash the cash Sevilla’s way.
As Kounde’s preference is reportedly to play Champions League football next season, it limits a successful hijack to a small number of sides.
Man Utd have recently announced a deal in principle to sign Raphael Varane, so they seem an unlikely destination despite their previous interest in the 22-year-old.
When it comes to Liverpool, they could have too many centre-backs on their hands after the emergency recruitment which followed last season’s injury crisis.
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Man City have shown interest in Kounde before, but any signing would have a hard time displacing John Stones and PFA player of the year, Ruben Dias.
Clubs who finished outside the top four could also make a move, although they would be at a significant disadvantage to Chelsea based on the player’s European preferences.
As the Champions League holders, perhaps there could be no more attractive destination for the Sevilla defender to label his new home.
Well-versed at either centre-back or right-back, Kounde could be a perfect fit as a wide option in Tuchel’s back three.
Clearly, Chelsea still have work to do, but if they play their cards right, they should have the upper-hand over any potential Premier League hijackers.