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Chelsea transfer target Jules Kounde has reportedly ‘shocked’ everyone at Sevilla by turning up for their pre-season tour, despite not making the squad.
The France international is the subject of a tug of war over his future this summer. While he has had links with a move away from his La Liga employers for some time, now looks like the time for him to move on.
Chelsea have had the most prominent long-term interest in Kounde after almost signing the centre-back last summer.
And after lengthy speculation this summer, talk of a move to Stamford Bridge for him has ramped up in recent days.
That speculation mounted on Thursday when it emerged that Sevilla had left him out of their squad for their pre-season trip to Portugal.
According to The Sun, though, Kounde has taken it upon himself to be a part of the squad.
The newspaper claims that the move has ‘shocked everyone’ at Sevilla, who were expecting him to leave the club quietly.
But Kounde reportedly feels he is being ‘unprofessional’ by not playing a part in pre-season while he is still under contract with Sevilla.
He therefore wants to be part of the travelling squad to Portugal for a match against Sporting Lisbon on Sunday.
Kounde transfer to Chelsea unaffected
Crucially for Chelsea, though, The Sun adds that Kounde is still increasingly likely to move to the Blues.
A source with knowledge of the situation told the newspaper: “It is still highly likely he will join Chelsea. Everybody was stunned when Kounde turned up for the bus to Lagos.
“But he feels he should be a ‘professional’ while still a Sevilla player.”
Kounde has reportedly agreed terms on a five-year contract, while The Guardian reports that Chelsea will pay Sevilla £55million for him.
Barcelona still fancy their chances of signing the centre-back and have urged Kounde to wait. They believe that despite their lower offer to Sevilla, the player’s desire to move to Camp Nou could be greater.
Kounde has risen to prominence at Sevilla. The 23-year-old has won the Europa League, made 133 appearances and got into the France squad.
Defender ready for step up
But he has offered Sevilla all he can and now he needs to take a step up in his career.
The centre-back would still be in the Champions League with Chelsea, like he has been with Sevilla, but would fancy his chances of winning it more with the Premier League club.
There is the opportunity for Kounde to prove himself in the English top flight too.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel needs defensive reinforcements this summer following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen – and needs players ready to immediately step in.
It will be a big move for Kounde if Chelsea eventually seal it in the second summer transfer window of asking, but it is one which the player deserves for his recent rise.
The article Jules Kounde ‘shocks’ Sevilla with pre-season U-turn, as Chelsea learn transfer state of play appeared first on Teamtalk.com.