Chelsea reportedly have an agreement over personal terms with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, who is also a target for Manchester United and Real Madrid.

According to transfer expert Duncan Castles on the Transfer Window Podcast (h/t Express), Chelsea have agreed personal terms with Sevilla’s French defender Jules Kounde but will face competition from Manchester United and Real Madrid for his signing.

The 23-year-old centre-back signed for Sevilla in 2019 from French club Bordeaux and has since grown into one of the most exciting young defenders in Europe. Clubs were queuing up to sign him during the summer transfer window, with Chelsea, in particular, showing great intent in pursuit of Kounde.

The Blues were hot on his trails all summer long, but a move failed to materialise as Sevilla increased their asking price late in the transfer window. However, the west London giants have continued to hold an interest in the French international and Castles confirms that they are eyeing a January move, with personal terms already sorted with Kounde.

“Chelsea are continuing to pursue him. They have continued to make it clear they want to bring him to the Premier League and that they’re interested in doing it in January. Obviously the financial terms remain fine, they were accepted in the summer,” the journalist said.

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“Kounde’s basically waiting to see if Granovskaia will meet Monchi’s asking price in the window, and whether Monchi will move goalposts again to put the price beyond what Chelsea are prepared to pay – not what they’re able to pay, but what they’re prepared to pay – and whether he’s going to have to wait until the summer for a move.”

With Chelsea staring at the prospect of losing Antonio Rudiger at the end of the season when his contract expires, it makes sense for them to press for the signing of Kounde. However, they are eager to get the deal done in January as the reigning champions of Europe would stand to face competition from Manchester United and Real Madrid.

“During the last transfer window, there was also interest in the player from Real Madrid and a degree of interest from Manchester United. So there is pressure on Chelsea here,” Castles added.

Although they have the player’s agreement, they do kind of need to get the deal done in case another major club comes in and says to Monchi, ‘okay, we’ll meet that asking price’ and are able to say to Kounde, ‘we’re as good an option as Chelsea, we’ll meet the financial terms, come to us instead’. The release clause is €80m, Sevilla are prepared to sell for less than that but not substantially less.”

With Manchester United, the interest in Kounde does not come as surprising, considering how dismal they have been defensively on occasions this season. As for Real Madrid, they need another top-quality central defender to compete and provide cover for David Alaba and Eder Militao. The Frenchman’s know-how of La Liga football and his age make him an ideal target for Los Blancos.

It remains to be seen if Chelsea decide to make an offer in January or wait till the summer to move, risking competition from United and Madrid.

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