Tuchel outlines why Chelsea signed Saul on loan
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Chelsea will reignite their pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde if Antonio Rudiger fails to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge, according to reports. The Blues pushed to land Kounde throughout the summer transfer window and reportedly agreed personal terms with the 22-year-old last month.
Thomas Tuchel was eager to add the Frenchman to his defensive ranks after sealing the marquee signing of returning forward Romelu Lukaku.
However, the European champions ultimately failed to agree terms with Sevilla at club level and were forced to miss out on Kounde’s signature.
He has established himself as one of La Liga’s finest defenders in recent years and made 49 appearances in all competitions for the Andalusian club last season.
Chelsea are understood not to have dropped their interest in a move and could return to the table in January, but it seems as though Kounde is no longer their main priority.
They will only launch any further attempts to sign the defender if Rudiger’s contract situation is not resolved, according to Sport Mediaset.
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The 28-year-old is a vital member of Chelsea’s back three under Tuchel, but will be a free agent next summer as things stand.
He is yet to find an agreement with club chiefs over the possibility of an extension and could be tempted by a move to Paris Saint-Germain, who are said to be interested in his services.
The French giants have recently established a transfer policy that revolves heavily around signing high-profile players at the end of their contracts.
They managed to land Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and none other than Lionel Messi using this philosophy and the report claims that Rudiger could be their next target.
It remains to be seen whether he will decide to remain with Chelsea or agree a lucrative switch to PSG in order to play alongside the likes of Ramos and Messi and pick up a hefty wage packet in the process.
Tuchel previously declared that he would love to keep Rudiger in west London for the foreseeable future, hailing his strong performances on the way to Champions League glory at the end of last season.
“If he wants to have a new contract he has our full support to stay at the club,” the Chelsea boss told reporters in May.
“He is speaking with his performances; he has been amazing since day one. We chose him in the first match after just one day of training.
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“It was an unfair decision against Kurt [Zouma] but he’s German and I had a clearer picture of what he can do, of course, because I’ve followed him more than Kurt Zouma.
“I had a clear picture of what he can deliver to a team and he took the chance. Since then it’s well deserved he is in the team.
“He is an aggressive leader, has this natural aggressivity in him. He hates to lose, is hard to beat in duels, is very brave, and full of energy in his defending.
“He is leading by example and has a very positive aggressivity in him. This is what we like.
“When he can channel all this into top performances, as he does now, we are all very happy to have him.”
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