Chelsea are reportedly willing to offer a player as part of the deal to land Jules Kounde, also a target for Manchester United and Real Madrid.
According to a report by Spanish publication AS, Chelsea are finding it difficult to raise the €80 million necessary to sign Jules Kounde in the summer transfer window. Instead, the Blues are ready to offer a player on their transfer list to Sevilla in order to bring down the €80 million price tag for the Frenchman, who is also being tailed by Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Kounde has become one of the hottest properties in the transfer market since joining Sevilla from Bordeaux in the summer of 2019. Despite not even completing two years with the Andalusian club, the French centre-back is already regarded as one of the best defenders on show in La Liga.
Till date, Kounde has amassed 81 appearances for Sevilla, even chipping in with 6 goals and 2 assists in those outings. The 22-year-old exploits have not gone unnoticed, with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid all hot on his trails.
Chelsea’s interest in Kounde is only recent, but makes a great deal of sense. Thiago Silva, despite the kind of impact he has made, is in the twilight of his career while Antonio Rudiger is facing an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge, with his contract winding down soon. As a result, it is prudent for the Blues to keep their options open, making Kounde a viable target.
As for Manchester United, the Red Devils have been considering a move for the French defender for quite some time now. Kounde is one of several centre-backs on United’s radar, as they search for a long-term partner for Harry Maguire amid the fitness troubles that have plagued Eric Bailly and even Victor Lindelof.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid are in a precarious situation over the futures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, with Kounde reportedly being targeted as a long-term replacement for his compatriot. Indeed, if even one of the two defensive stalwarts end up leaving, Real Madrid would be in need of a top class centre-back, and with Kounde already settled in La Liga, a move for him makes sense.
Certain reports have suggested that Manchester United are the favourites to land Kounde this summer. However, the report by AS claims that Chelsea are leading their Premier League rivals as well Real Madrid in the race to sign the young Frenchman, although his €80 million release clause is posing a problem.
Chelsea, though, are preparing a player-plus-cash deal to swoop Kounde away from Sevilla and the clutches of Manchester United and Real Madrid as well. This would entail them to offer one of the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Tammy Abraham, Michy Batshuayi, Tiemoue Bakayoko, and even Kepa Arrizabalaga to get hold of their man.
What now remains to be seen is if Chelsea can successfully do away with his €80 million exit clause or if they are forced to pay the required sum instead. Such a scenario could bring Manchester United and Real Madrid back in contention, thereby setting up an intriguing transfer battle for Kounde.