Chelsea may already have Jules Kounde transfer alternative who Mason Mount clearly rates

Thomas Tuchel reflects on Chelsea's pre-season defeat to Arsenal

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Chelsea looked as though they had fought off Barcelona to secure the exciting signing of Jules Kounde just days ago, but they now look set to miss out. Barcelona have been the bane of the Blues’ summer transfer window and have struck again will a late dash to sign the highly-rated Sevilla defender.

Reports claim Chelsea were in advanced talks over a £55million deal for Kounde as Barcelona’s financial restrictions seemingly forced them out of the race. But the Blaugrana told the 23-year-old to wait for them to gather funds to launch a pursuit, and they intensified their interest over the weekend.

Now a deal is considered close, and they could even end up paying less than Chelsea were ready to, with Kounde’s favouring a dream move to the Nou Camp. So, what now for Thomas Tuchel? Well, despite recruiting Kalidou Koulibaly and targeting a third centre-back after Kounde, he already has an option within his ranks ready for an opportunity to shine.

Levi Colwill thrived on loan at Huddersfield Town in the Championship last season, helping the Terriers reach the Play-Off Final. And the 19-year-old has caught the eye so far in pre-season, leading some to suggest Tuchel could save millions by taking a chance on him.

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Mason Mount is among those he’s impressed, and the midfielder has commended Colwill for taking a similar development path to him by heading to the Championship on loan from Chelsea’s academy. He has hailed the left-sided central defender for how much he’s grown in West Yorkshire.

Mount said: “You can see with Levi the valuable experience he has gained going on loan. That’s something that I experienced, and for me, watching him when he trained with us before he went out, I could obviously tell he was a very good player, but he needed that experience.

“To go and play in the Championship and to get into a Play-Off Final as I did, it’s a valuable experience that helps you so, so much. I think he has learned so much from that. He has grown as a player, grown as a person, and now I definitely think he feels that he can improve us and improve our team. He is going to get an opportunity to really step up, and he needs to keep working hard and keep working hard in training.”

Tuchel’s original plans to acquire three centre-backs in the transfer market suggest he didn’t see Colwill in his plans this term. But the impression the starlet has made in pre-season may have prompted a change of heart and could make the Kounde fiasco easier to swallow.

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