new bid | 

Chelsea believe they are close to sealing a deal for their next big transfer target

Blues chase for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde may be about to reach a successful conclusion.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. Photo: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. Photo: Tony O'Brien/Reuters© REUTERS

Kevin PalmerSunday World

After a day of frantic activity and negotiations, Chelsea insiders believe they are close to sealing a deal to sign their next big transfer target.

After a summer that has already seen the west London club sign defender Kalidou Koulibaly and winger Raheem Sterling, their long-time chase for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde may be about to reach a successful conclusion.

Chelsea have submitted a new bid believed to be around £55million for the French centre-back, which is closer than they have ever got to Sevilla’s £60million asking price.

This transfer has been rumbling on for most of 2022, with Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui suggesting the exit of his star defender is now close.

"Kounde arrived at the Ciudad Deportiva of Sevilla FC on Wednesday morning but has not trained with his teammates. Departure is imminent,” Lopetegui told reporters.

Koulibaly ad Kounde would give Chelsea’s defensive line a new look in a summer when manager Tuchel is determined to strengthen his back line following the exit of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, with César Azpilicueta also expected to leave imminently.

"I think we need a couple more players in to improve the squad. We finished third last season,” said Tuchel.

"We cannot discuss the reason forever but there was a gap between us Manchester City and Liverpool. I think in general if you want to keep your position if you want to fight for the same position you need to improve you cannot stand still.

"If you stand still other teams will overtake you. Given the position that we even lost players its common sense that we need to bring new quality to the team to maintain our level. Not even speaking about improving our level, so this is the situation where we are right now.

"It's the dream of any manager that you find players in your own league, that can adapt very quickly. But it's an individual process. Of course, we see that Raheem knows many players from the national team and he is very familiar with the habits in English clubs. This is nice to see.

"For Kalidou, it's a big help we have some French guys, that we have Edou (Mendy), his teammate from the national team, and Jorgi who is a big help from Napoli. It makes the process of integration faster because this is huge and both of them should be huge players for us. This is why we need to speed things up."

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