Chelsea push to sign Jules Kounde and Presnel Kimpembe this week as Barcelona circle
Chelsea want to continue their defensive rebuild by wrapping up deals for Jules Kounde and Presnel Kimpembe.
Co-owner Todd Boehly missed Sunday’s 2-1 friendly win over Club America in Las Vegas to work on signings that could take Chelsea’s summer spending beyond £150million.
It was the first game Boehly has not attended since buying Chelsea but he wants to finalise deals for Kounde and Kimpembe after signing Kalidou Koulibaly for £33m over the weekend.
Paris Saint-Germain want around £42m for Kimpembe. The 26-year-old is thought to be reluctant to leave his boyhood club but Chelsea are optimistic of a deal following talks with N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva, his current France and former PSG team-mates.
Sevilla centre-back Kounde has agreed on personal terms but Chelsea have been indecisive about signing him since the new owners completed their takeover.
Barcelona are now trying to hijack a deal for Kounde after beating Chelsea to the signing of former Leeds winger Raphinha, who was earmarked to partly play as a wing-back.
Tuchel is keen to sign three central defenders this summer and another wing-back to challenge for major trophies.
Chelsea have missed out on Nathan Ake, who is staying at Manchester City after prolonged talks.
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The Blues had also identified Matthias de Ligt as a target but he is now set to join Bayern Munich for £68m.
Chelsea are yet to enter any advanced any talks for wing-backs, but have heavily scouted several options including Jonathan Clauss from Lens.
They will sign a wing-back should Cesar Azpilicueta or Marcos Alonso join Barcelona.
The pair have both agreed contracts at the La Liga side and but a transfer has yet to be agreed.
Club captain Azpilicueta has asked Thomas Tuchel to allow him to return to Spain, but the Chelsea manager is holding him back until he signs more defensive options.
Young centre-back Levi Colwill is concerned about his future in west London with so many players coming to play his position on long-term deals.
Crystal Palace, Southampton, Leicester City and Brighton are among those vying for his signature.