Chelsea are reportedly closing in on the permanent capture of Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, who is expected to cost around €50 million.

According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Chelsea’s pursuit of a new centre-back is about to come to an end as they have closed in on the capture of Jules Kounde. The Blues have reached an agreement with Sevilla over the sale of their prized defensive asset, and are expected to pay a fee of around €50 million, with additional bonuses.

Chelsea have been eyeing a move for Kounde right from the beginning of the summer transfer window. His success at Sevilla under the leadership of Julen Lopetegui has truly caught the attention of many clubs across Europe, with the youngster already establishing himself as one of the brightest defensive prospects in world football.

The Frenchman might not be an established star like Raphael Varane of Manchester United. But at the age of just 22, the French centre-back has immense potential, building a reputation, particularly for his pace, athleticism and technical prowess.

Indeed, Kounde is an excellent ball-carrier who can move up the pitch and influence in the build-up play. In many ways, he can be an ideal replacement for Thiago Silva, whose current deal at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season, which is why he is rightly Chelsea’s priority defensive target.

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Chelsea’s future plans for the defensive unit are shaping up nicely. The emergence of Trevoh Chalobah has been a bonus for the club while they are also hoping to tie down Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to long-term contracts.

In addition, the Blues are soon expected to sanction the sale of Kurt Zouma. The Frenchman has reportedly agreed personal terms with West Ham, with a move likely to be officiated soon. He could become the second centre-back to leave Chelsea this summer after Fikayo Tomori joined AC Milan on a permanent deal.

The addition of Kounde won’t mark the end of Chelsea’s transfer business in the window, though. The club is keen on offloading multiple fringe players in this remaining week, with Tiemoue Bakayoko, for one, being linked with a move to AC Milan.

It won’t be surprising to see the Blues going after a midfielder themselves. They have recently tabled a bid for Barcelona’s youth sensation Ilaix Moriba, who faces an uncertain future at the Nou Camp. Chelsea need to be swift, though, as we head towards the final few days before the transfer market slams to a shut. As for Kounde, Chelsea’s priority defensive target is set to arrive in a €50 million deal soon.

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