Sevilla has dropped the biggest hint yet that Jules Kounde’s departure could be more imminent than some may think.
The 23-year-old has been waiting patiently to seal a move away from southern Spain this summer as he aims to seek a new challenge elsewhere. It has always been understood that his dream move was to Chelsea. And there was one point that Kounde himself was primed to make that West London switch earlier in this summer’s transfer window.
Before Marina Granovskaia left her role on the board, the Les Bleus international was always prime target number one to replace the already gone Antonio Rüdiger.
However, Granovskaia’s departure led to new owner Todd Boehly and manager Thomas Tuchel shifting their eyes elsewhere, with Bayern Munich-bound Matthijs de Ligt number one on the German’s hit list. As a result of the Bavarians closing in on the Dutchman, attention suddenly shifted to Kalidou Koulibaly, a centre-half keen on joining international compatriot Edouard Mendy on the club scene.
Boehly has made this prospect a reality as football.london understands that the 31-year-old has undergone a medical in London after a £34million deal was agreed between the Blues and Napoli.
But with Andreas Christensen gone, coupled with the expected exits of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta to Barcelona, respectively, at least two more defenders are wanted by Tuchel. Presnel Kimpembe and Nathan Ake are the two that were in ‘advanced’ talks to join this new Chelsea, but complications with both mean that alternative solutions need to be found.
So, in a full circle moment, Kounde’s name has come back into the equation, with The Guardian reporting that a £56-58m deal could be revitalised from the dead. Another report from one of Gianluca Di Marzio’s staff goes as far as to say that the current World Champions have indeed switched their attentions fully to the 23-year-old
football.london understands that missing out on Ake could result in the club revisiting the Kounde transfer situation with certain members of the Chelsea board keeping in contact with the player in question over the last couple of weeks.
And now, Sevilla have only fuelled speculation that something behind the scenes may be going on with their star defender. As @Barca_Buzz on Twitter spotted, ‘Sevilla withdrew Koundé’s shirt number from its official store.’
Of course, he could still be going elsewhere with all of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Spurs interested in visiting this deal but adding the jigsaw pieces together suggests that Chelsea could well be back in the driving seat to seal a big money transfer for their long-term target and at the same time, end this prolonged transfer saga which stretches back to last summer.