Chelsea report: Blues line up Plan B as Barcelona enter race for top target
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel wants to bring in two more central defenders before the end of the transfer window
Chelsea are reportedly closing in on the signing of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, but they've lined up an alternative in case there are problems with the move.
The Blues have already brought in Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in a £33 million deal this summer, as they begin an overhaul of their defence following the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger at the end of their contracts.
Kounde is a long-time target for the west London club, and CBS journalist Ben Jacobs (opens in new tab) has reported that a fee of around €60m (£51m) is expected to be agreed on Wednesday.
The Spanish side are said to want to complete the sale by Thursday, while Kounde is keen on the move.
The Evening Standard (opens in new tab) backs up the report, adding that personal terms have already been agreed, but the newspaper says Barcelona are still in the race for the France international’s signature.
With manager Thomas Tuchel wanting another two centre-backs to arrive before the end of the window, RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol is being considered as an alternative to Kounde if a move fails to materialise.
The Croatian is seen as an ideal Plan B option, but would require a sizeable fee as the German club don’t want to sell.
PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe is another major target for the Blues and Chelsea want to complete a £50m signing, but the Frenchman is unsure about the move despite efforts from Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante to convince him.
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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.