Chelsea ready to consider alternative options as Sevilla hold firm on Jules Kounde
Spanish club demanding big fee for defender
Kevin PalmerSunday World
Chelsea are looking at alternative defensive options, as their long-term pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde has failed to reach a conclusion.
The Blues made several attempts to sign French centre-back Kounde last January and went back for the player this summer, as they look to replace the departed defensive duo of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
Now the Stamford Bridge club have made it clear that they will dance to Sevilla’s tune as the Spanish club continues to demand a few in excess of £60million for their star defender.
While Kounde mas made no secret of his desire to leave Sevilla this summer and wants to join Chelsea, Blues chiefs have insisted they will not pay what they consider to be an excessive fee for the player.
Manchester City's Nathan Ake is now considered to be a ‘high priority' target to fill one of the central defensive roles Tuchel has asked for this summer, with Kounde still the preferred option for the second defensive signing.
Yet it is clear that Chelsea are keen to send a message to Sevilla that they will not sign Kounde unless the price fits their budget, with Barcelona also stepping back from their efforts to sign the player for the same financial reasons.
It remains to be seen whether Sevilla will now consider their options and accept a lower offer for the player, with his eagerness to move on this summer another big factor in what happens next.
Chelsea have yet to lodge an official bid for Kounde, but are aware of Sevilla’s asking price and are considering their options.