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Sevilla star Jules Kounde did not train with the LaLiga club on Wednesday as his protracted move to Chelsea moves closer.
Thomas Tuchel’s men have been chasing the centre-back all summer. In fact the last three transfer windows has seen the Blues go after the 23-year-old. Chelsea came close to landing the France star last summer, but Sevilla moved the goal posts at the last minute.
Still, Kounde has remained at the top of Chelsea’s list of targets and a move looks to be edging closer. The Athletic reporter Simon Johnson claimed yesterday that “the same source who told me Chelsea were confident about signing Raheem Sterling weeks ago is now saying the same about Jules Kounde”.
And CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs has now reported that Kounde did not train in Sevilla with the first-team squad on Wednesday. The reporter claims Sevilla do not want to jeopardise a move to Chelsea.
Sporting director Monchi is planning for his departure and does not want the player travelling to Portugal for the next part of their pre-season.
The rest of the Sevilla squad are preparing for the second phase of pre-season which sees them head to Portugal on Thursday.
Chelsea are understood to be close to agreeing a fee of around €60m, including add-ons for the player. The club lodged a €55m offer earlier in the week, which Sevilla are understood to have turned down.
Talks over the structure of the fee are ongoing.
Kounde: Barca told to put up or shut up
It has now come down to a straight auction with Barcelona. But Monchi has apparently told Barca to put up or shut up.
The Spaniard has told the Catalans to put forward a straight-cash deal, or walk away from Kounde. If Barca do, somehow, come up with the money, then the decision will come down to Kounde.
And that is not out of the question, considering the Spanish clubs activity already in the market. They have already landed high-profile deals for Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski.
Chelsea though look favourites to finally get their man, with the player open to a move to west London.
If Todd Boehly can get the deal over the line, Tuchel will be a lot happier going into the season with Kalidou Koulibaly and Kounde making up his backline.
The German boss has said he is looking for “a few more” additions as he continues his rebuild at Stamford Bridge. And his new-look partnership may prove to be a stronger spine that Antonio Rudiger and Co did last season.
The article Jules Kounde transfer news: Chelsea close in as defender misses training; Barca given ultimatum appeared first on Teamtalk.com.