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Sevilla are insisting on a €65m asking price if they are to part ways with top Chelsea defensive target Jules Kounde this summer, according to reports.
Chelsea tried to sign Kounde last summer, but there was a difference between theirs and Sevilla’s valuations of the player. In the end, the Frenchman stayed put in La Liga.
He remains on the radar of several of Europe’s major clubs, though. Now able to enter transfer negotiations again, Chelsea remain strong admirers.
The Blues are losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers this summer. Cesar Azpilicueta could also follow them out of the door if he gets his way.
Therefore, to continue with the back-three formation that has served them well under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea will need to sign players for their backline.
Having never lost sight of Kounde as a target, more details are now emerging about how they could prise him away from Sevilla. The Spaniards have already sold one defender in the shape of Diego Carlos this summer.
According to Marca, Sevilla are asking for €65m (£57.8m) to sanction the sale of Kounde. Their asking price is €15m (£12.9m) higher than the €50m (£42.9m) offer Chelsea are reportedly making.
Hence, there is ground for Chelsea to make up if they are determined to sign Kounde this summer.
Sevilla were not in the mood to negotiate last summer, when they insisted on his €80m (£68.7m) release clause being met. This year, they are again giving little indication that they could adjust their demands.
Indeed, the sale of Diego Carlos to Aston Villa has already helped them balance the books. Now, they are confident of squeezing as high a price as possible out of a transfer for Kounde.
How far Chelsea are willing to go in their pursuit remains to be seen.
Kounde worth a big fee
There is no doubting that Kounde is one of the most promising defenders in Europe at present. At the age of 23, he has already made more than 100 Sevilla appearances and has earned 10 caps for France.
A Europa League winner with his club in 2020 and a Nations League winner with his country the year after, Kounde likely has many more medals to add to his collection.
Therefore, even though the asking price is steep, Kounde could well be worth it. Chelsea have spent bigger sums on players before, so should still see this as an opportunity.
The former Bordeaux man could still be good value for money. Although there will be many options to consider, he should be one Chelsea continue to look closely at.
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