Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Blues player ratings
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Sevilla are reportedly still open to the sale of Jules Kounde if Chelsea offer enough money, according to their sporting director Monchi.
Thomas Tuchel’s men have been hot on the trail of the Frenchman throughout the summer, with Monchi claiming that the Blues did indeed bid for the defender last week; but after Sevilla apparently upped their asking price, a deal looked dead in the water.
However, the Blues have been offered fresh hope by the Andalusian club if they are to pay Kounde’s £68.7million (€80m) release clause, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The west London club have sold Kurt Zouma to free up a space in their defensive department – but with Sevilla reluctant to sell their star asset, it could start a last minute stand-off between the two.
Kounde, 22, joined Los Nervionenses in 2019 for just £21.4m (€25m) in 2019 from French outfit Bordeaux, and has gone from strength to strength at the Ramon Sanchez-Pijuan; attracting the attention of the European champions alongside many others.
With Thomas Tuchel bringing a style of play involving a five-man defence, ball-playing centre-backs are extremely pivotal to his system – and the German sees Kounde as the perfect addition to his squad.
Having sold defenders Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi for a combined £73m, there is somewhat of a budget to bring in the Frenchman.
Although despite the further sales of Tammy Abraham, Victor Moses and Davide Zappacosta for £42m, the Blues have spent £97.5m on Romelu Lukaku this summer – meaning they could be stretched to sign Kounde after the Andalusian side refused to sell for cheaper than his release clause.
Yet, in a further twist, Sevilla chief Monchi hasn’t ruled out the signing of the Frenchman – claiming that Chelsea could still do a deal even with just ten hours to go before the deadline strikes.
Speaking to the press, Monchi said: “The only written, formal offer from Chelsea came last Wednesday, around 5pm. We weren’t satisfied with the offer, and it was linked to Chelsea selling a player. It was a decent fee but it didn’t meet our criteria.
“We haven’t spoken with Chelsea since Friday night. We all decided that it was best Jules didn’t travel to Elche.
“It’s normal for players to be affected by news of any kind. Last year he had the interest from City and now Chelsea this year.
“Kounde’s clause never went up to 90m euros. It has always been 80m.
“We met at the end of May to discuss our targets for the window. I’m happy with how it’s went, but not 100% satisfied.
“There have been some factors such as the salary cap that have affected the plans.”
Sevilla have started their season in brilliant fashion, recording seven points from a possible nine in La Liga, as they look to replicate the form they showed last campaign.
And Julen Lopetegui’s side will look to take their early season form into the Champions League after the international break as they take on Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday, 14th September.
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