Chelsea target Jules Kounde alters Blues transfer stance amid crucial Kurt Zouma talks

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Sevilla defender Jules Kounde is not kicking up a fuss in order to join Chelsea this summer, with the Blues keen to secure his signature ahead of this month’s transfer deadline, according to reports. Kounde has been a target for the defending European champions since the beginning of the window, but a move has failed to materialise as of yet.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is understood to be keen on the late addition of a new centre-back in order to bolster his defensive ranks.

Kounde is believed to be near the top of the 47-year-old’s wish list after establishing himself as one of Europe’s finest young defenders with Sevilla.

He made 49 appearances across all competitions last season and was rewarded for his efforts with a place in France’s 26-man squad for Euro 2020.

Chelsea have reportedly been locked in negotiations with Sevilla for a number of weeks but are reluctant to pay Kounde’s release clause, which stands at around £77million.

The defender has already agreed personal terms with the west London outfit and is believed to be keen on the move in order to play Champions League football.

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However, it seems as though Kounde has not ruled out the possibility of staying at Sevilla for at least another season.

The 22-year-old is ready to join Chelsea but wants to be ‘respectful’ with his current employers and is not looking to force them into action, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

It is claimed that Kounde settled on personal terms with the Blues some time ago, with negotiations at club level said to be holding up the deal.

The Sevilla man’s decision to avoid pushing for a move in the following weeks suggests that his stance may have changed since the beginning of the summer window.

He previously declared that a change of scenery would be almost certain to take place as he looks to achieve his dream of fighting for silverware at the highest level of the game.

“Regarding my future, it’s certain that I will perhaps have to change clubs this summer,” Kounde told reporters back in June.

“But nothing has been finalised yet, I have not decided anything. My goal is to play for a big club, to try to always progress and to win trophies.

“It’s true that I might have to move, but that’s not relevant today.”

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will eventually be able to land Kounde in the coming days, with Sevilla unlikely to be bullied into accepting a cut-price fee for his services.

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The Blues will need to sell at least one of their existing stars to meet the defender’s asking price after splashing a club-record £97.5million fee on the signing of Romelu Lukaku earlier this summer.

Kurt Zouma is widely expected to leave the club before the end of the month, with the 26-year-old having been linked with a move to West Ham United in recent weeks.

Talks between the two London rivals are said to be ongoing, while personal terms have also been up for discussion as Chelsea look to fast-track Zouma’s departure.

The proposed move will play a key role in the club’s pursuit of Kounde, which is likely to go down to the wire as the clock ticks down on the possibility of any further moves.

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