Chelsea is diligently pursuing Sevilla center-back Jules Kounde, who looks set to move to Stamford Bridge ahead of Barcelona and Tottenham. The club have reactivated contacts for the youngster.
According to AS journalist Manu Sainz, the in-demand defender is set to join ‘The Blues’ next week, despite previously being convinced by Barca manager Xavi Hernandez to move to Catalonia.
Manu wrote on Twitter:
Which translates as:
Koundé is very close to being transferred to Chelsea. Excepting a radical change, the English club hopes that the agreement will be closed next week. Xavi spoke with the player and convinced him to go to Barça, but Chelsea bets more strongly.
The Kounde saga has been one of the most discussed transfers of the current window, with the 23-year-old being one of the most sought after central defenders in European football.
The French international has played 133 times for Sevilla since moving from Bordeaux in 2019 and has also gained 11 caps for France. The Spanish giants broke their club-record transfer fee to capture Kounde, who is also capable of playing as a right-back.
Here’s a compilation of his skills:
Kounde, who stands at 5′ 10″, will become the second centre-back to be signed by ‘The Blues’ this summer following the arrival of Napoli captain Kalidou Koulibaly. The pair will replace the central-defensive duo of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen at the end of June, who are going away on free transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Thomas Tuchel hails ‘brilliant’ Chelsea signing Kalidou Koulibaly
Tuchel expressed his delight over securing the centre-back on a four-year deal, as he told Chelsea’s official website:
“He brings experience, top defending quality, height, and everything we are looking for to play in a back-three or a back-four. It’s another brilliant signing for us, and we hope Kalidou can show his quality as soon as possible.
“He knows already some of the players. He plays with Edouard Mendy with his national team and he played with Jorginho at Napoli. I think for this side it will be very quick that he feels welcome in the group. It’s a nice group, and everybody is happy that he is with us now.”
The German boss also insisted that Koulibaly is not a short-term signing and can play for the club for many years to come, as he explained:
“We have Thiago Silva who is even older and super experienced and still at the peak of his game, so we hope that Kalidou can do the same and play many years for us.
Kalidou Koulibaly is at Stamford Bridge: