Chelsea takeover finally complete as Todd Boehly era begins
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Chelsea are set to “do everything they can” to complete their first signing of the Todd Boehly era as Gab Marcotti believes the Blues will intensify their pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
Speaking on ESPN FC’s show where he rates the likelihood of transfers, the Italian journalist gave the Kounde to Chelsea deal a seven out of ten. Thomas Tuchel could be set to lose several of his key defenders from last season and is expected to recruit heavily in defence, with the French defender a long-term target for the club.
Marcotti said: “I have gone seven on this, I would have been even higher until Sevilla sold Diego Carlos. It is rare that clubs sell both of their starting centre-backs in the same transfer window.
“The reality is that Chelsea were very close to signing him before, obviously there are new owners at Sevilla that may impact it a little bit but he has got a big season coming up at the French national team.
“Chelsea want a centre-back with his characteristics, a smaller, mobile centre-back in the back three. If you look at Chelsea’s defence right now, [Cesar] Azpilicueta is out of contract, it’s touch and go whether he stays or leaves, then you have Thiago Silva who is 36 and then you are getting to [Trevoh] Chalobah, people like that, maybe Ethan Ampadu coming back who knows.
“They need established players in there and Jules Kounde is someone who they have been tracking for a very long time. I think they are going to do everything they can to bring him over the line this summer.”
After completing the acquisition of Chelsea, Boehly reportedly made a very specific request to Kounde amid rumours that the Frenchman could be on his way to Stamford Bridge.
Kounde’s current club Sevilla have been surprised that the deal for the Frenchman has taken longer than their sale of Kounde’s centre-back partner Diego Carlos to Aston Villa, as the Brazilian completed a £26million move to Steven Gerrard’s side last week.
Kounde played every minute of Sevilla’s Europa League campaign this season, along with 32 La Liga and five Champions League appearances, as the Spanish side were knocked out of the group stage in the Champions League and then by West Ham in the last 16 of the Europa League. He has also made nine appearances for France, and was part of Didier Deschamps’ side at Euro 2020.
The signing could be part of a revamp at Chelsea, as Antonio Rudiger has already confirmed a move to Real Madrid on a free transfer, while Andreas Christensen is also expected to follow him to Spain with Barcelona. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso have also been linked with moves to La Liga.
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