Chelsea’s move to sign Jules Kounde has fallen through, with Sevilla shockingly increasing their asking fee for the talented defender.
Transfer expert David Ornstein of The Athletic has offered a shocking update on Chelsea’s pursuit of Jules Kounde. The 22-year-old centre-back was tipped to make the switch to Stamford Bridge before the transfer deadline day, but it appears the move has collapsed after Sevilla increased their valuation of the French defender, hoping for Chelsea to churn out an extra £12.8 million.
Chelsea, though, are not willing to take the gamble and have decided the cede their pursuit of the 22-year-old, whose initial agreement to join Stamford Bridge was worth around £43 million. Kounde’s botched move to West London will serve as a major blow for Thomas Tuchel, especially after the recent departure of Kurt Zouma.
The Frenchman was sold to West Ham in order to make way for the incoming youngster. But with the Sevilla centre-back now seemingly destined for a prolonged spell in Italy, Chelsea are now in danger of heading into the new season with minimal depth in central defence.
In addition to Zouma, the Blues had earlier offloaded Fikayo Tomori to AC Milan, leaving Tuchel with limited options at the heart of the backline.
Fortunately for the German, the rapid rise of Trevoh Chalobah has offered him an exciting option alongside the existing first-team players like Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. Many experts in English football already expect the young Chalobah to make a stunning breakthrough this season, with Arsenal legend Ian Wright even comparing him to young Virgil van Dijk earlier this month.
Moreover, Chelsea have been boosted by the return of Malang Sarr after his loan spell at OGC Nice. They have Ethan Ampadu as well, who is more than capable of making his breakthrough for the Chelsea first-team this season.
Missing out on Kounde, therefore, might not be as big of a blow as it seems for Chelsea. The Blues have a quality defensive unit and if their players can avoid injuries, they have certainly what it takes to replicate the performances from the second half of last season and potentially challenge for the Premier League title.
The reigning European champions have started the new campaign on a positive note, securing wins over Arsenal and Crystal Palace before controversially playing out a 1-1 draw with Liverpool. They now sign off for further preparations during the international break.