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fresh bid? Chelsea keen to target a centre-back and with Jules Kounde still on their target list

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Jules Kounde of France and Sevilla is a Chelsea target. Photo: Nicolas Tucat

Jules Kounde of France and Sevilla is a Chelsea target. Photo: Nicolas Tucat

Jules Kounde of France and Sevilla is a Chelsea target. Photo: Nicolas Tucat

Chelsea are still keen to add a centre-back to their Champions League winning squad, but they may wait until next summer before making their move.

After agreeing to allow Kurt Zouma to join West Ham in the final days of the transfer window, Chelsea ended the summer comfortably in profit on player trading, even though they spent a club record £97.5million to sign striker Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan.

Manager Thomas Tuchel has held talks with club chiefs in recent days and while there is an eagerness to push for another defensive signing, Stamford Bridge officials are said to be 'content' with the quality of the squad they have put together.

Chelsea made a concerted effort to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde in the transfer window, but they were never willing to pay the €80million release clause to sign the French centre-back.

While they felt a deal could be struck to complete the deal for a lower fee, Sevilla refused to lower their lavish asking price after they claimed Chelsea missed a deadline to sign the player.

Sevilla Sporting Director Mochi outlined his club's position after agreement with Chelsea was not reached: "The only written, formal offer from Chelsea came last Wednesday, around 5pm.

"We weren't satisfied with the offer, and it was linked to Chelsea selling a player. It was a decent fee but it didn’t meet our criteria.

We haven't spoken with Chelsea since Friday night. We all decided that it was best Jules didn’t travel to Elche. It’s normal for players to be affected by news of any kind. Last year he had the interest from City and now Chelsea this year. Kounde’s clause never went up to €90million. It has always been €80million."

Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui insisted he was happy to still have Kounde in his squad for this season as he added: "Kounde didn’t join Chelsea because our Sevilla board decided it was the right thing to do, based on the value of the offers. For me it’s positive - he’ll perform again at top level."

sundayworld.com have been told that while Chelsea are still interested in signing Kounde, but they don't feel the €80million asking price is a reasonable valuation of the player.

So while they remain open signing Kounde, other options will be considered if the fee being demanded by Sevilla remains at such an inflated level.

No decisions on whether Chelsea will make a move to sign players in the January transfer window have been made, with Tuchel's side making a strong start to the season after they won the UEFA Super Cup in Belfast and made a positive start to the Premier League season.

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