A teammate of Jules Kounde who is no stranger to transfer links himself has insisted the Chelsea target remains focused and committed to Sevilla.
Kounde was a major target for Chelsea over the summer as they aimed for a defensive reinforcement. However, they were unable to meet the demands of Sevilla, who wanted his release clause to be paid in full. No deal was possible in the end, but it could be revisited in 2022.
Chelsea are fearful of losing Antonio Rudiger when his contract expires at the end of the season. Furthermore, Thiago Silva is not getting any younger, despite his continuous talent. At some stage, the Blues will need to bolster their backline.
Kounde remains one of their primary objectives for doing so, although there have been links with other names since the closure of the summer transfer window. For example, Matthijs De Ligt of Juventus is said to be a big-money target.
But Kounde may retain hope of a move to Stamford Bridge after reportedly growing frustrated at Sevilla’s stance not to sell him. In fact, reports just a few days after the window closed suggested he was ignoring calls from his current employers.
He has since been back in action on the pitch, starting all four of their games since the return from the international break alongside Diego Carlos.
It was once Carlos who attracted the bulk of transfer interest out of Sevilla’s defence. After their conquest of the Europa League in 2020, he was tipped to join a Premier League club.
But in reality, Kounde was always the more reliable performer and it has shown in the several months since. As such, it is no surprise to see him linked so heavily with clubs like Chelsea.
For now, his partnership with Carlos will continue. And the Brazilian does not think Kounde’s head has been turned in the manner that has been reported.
Asked by AS if Kounde has ‘forgotten’ Chelsea, Carlos said (in quotes translated by Sport Witness): “Sure. Jules already has his head in Sevilla, since he returned to play.
“We are always aware of him. He is very happy here.”
Chelsea set Kounde benchmark
That said, Chelsea could still try to lure him away from Spain. A report earlier this month revealed exactly why they failed to sign him this summer and on what conditions they may rectify that.
According to ESPN, Chelsea will be reviving their pursuit of the 22-year-old in January. However, they will only pursue a deal if Sevilla reduce their asking price again.
The report claimed Sevilla opted to raise Kounde’s price tag back up late last month because of Chelsea’s sale of Kurt Zouma to West Ham. With more funds in their pockets, the theory was that Chelsea could spend more on their target.
They did not want to, though, after previously coming close to taking him for €50m plus add-ons. If they can return to such a figure, Kounde will be a top target again.
What’s more, the player himself is very keen on the idea of moving to Stamford Bridge, where advanced discussions have taken place over a four- or five-year contract.
But as long as Sevilla insist on the payment of his release clause, Chelsea will have to wait.
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