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Chelsea handed big boost in their pursuit of long-time transfer target

Jules Kounde is ready to sign for Chelsea if a deal can be agreed
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Chelsea have been handed a huge transfer boost in their big to sign one of their chief long-term targets – but they will need to move quickly to seal the deal.

Stamford Bridge chiefs refused to pay Sevilla’s £60million asking price for their French defender Jules Kounde in January and there have been big changes at the club since then, with Russian owner Roman Abramovich forced to sell the club due to his country’s invasion of Ukraine.

That has led to the exit of the management team that was looking to recruit Kounde at the start of the year, yet Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has made it clear that he still wants to sign the player.

Barcelona’s interest in Kounde appeared to put a block on Chelsea’s ambitions, but it has emerged that the player is still keen to sign for Chelsea if a deal can be thrashed out between the two clubs.

Chelsea are still believed to be reluctant to pay Sevilla’s asking price, in a summer when they already signed winger Raheem Sterling from Manchester City and defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.

Kounde remains on their wanted list and manager Tuchel is hopeful new owner Todd Boehly and his team can push the deal over the line.

There are also doubts over whether Barcelona have the finances for the Kounde deal, in a summer when they have splashed the cash in the transfer market and add to their squad with the signing of Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich last week.

A decision on Kounde’s future is expected imminently, with Chelsea now very much back in the mix to sign the defender.

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