Chelsea report: Jules Kounde deal on knife-edge as Blues find alternative

Jules Kounde
(Image credit: Getty)

Chelsea are ready to move for Presnel Kimpembe if they fail to land Jules Kounde, according to reports.

The Blues are hoping to bring Kounde to Stamford Bridge as Thomas Tuchel seeks to bolster his defensive ranks.

Chelsea have already completed the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, but they are seeking another centre-back after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both opted to depart when their contracts expired on June 30.

Kounde is their top target and they appeared to be closing in on his signature last week.

But Barcelona have entered the race and are attempting to entice the France international to the Camp Nou instead.

Presnel Kimpembe

(Image credit: Getty)

Kounde seems to favour a switch to Barcelona but the Catalan giants are yet to agree a fee with Sevilla.

Given their competitors' well-documented financial issues, Chelsea could have the edge when it comes to negotiating with the selling club.

However, there is a contingency plan in place that would see Todd Boehly and his colleagues swoop for Kimpembe if Kounde opts to join Barcelona.

Having spent his entire career to date at the Parc des Princes, Kimpembe is considering a move away before the transfer window closes at the beginning of September.

The Times writes that he has asked PSG to allow him to consider his options as Chelsea wait to see how the Kounde saga resolves itself.

The Ligue 1 champions would be happy to keep hold of their academy graduate but would be willing to let him leave for around £60m.

Tuchel worked with Kimpembe during his own time in the French capital and remains a fan of the defender.

But the Chelsea boss will hope that Kimpembe's compatriot Kounde is the man who joins Koulibaly in west London.

Meanwhile there have been suggestions that the Blues could refuse to sell Cesar Azpilicueta to Barcelona if the La Liga outfit beats them to Kounde.

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).