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Chelsea transfer news: Blues eye player-plus-cash deal for Jules Kounde

Jules Kounde
(Image credit: PA)

Chelsea want to use Kurt Zouma as a makeweight in a deal to sign Jules Kounde, according to reports.

The Sevilla centre-back was previously linked with a move to Manchester United, who are instead pursuing Raphael Varane.

Chelsea now appear to be at the front of the queue to sign the Frenchman, who impressed in La Liga last term.

Thomas Tuchel wants to bolster his defensive options ahead of his first full season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel guided Chelsea to Champions League glory in May and will now be targeting a Premier League title tilt.

According to The Athletic, the Blues are preparing a player-plus-cash offer for Kounde.

The 22-year-old has a £68m release clause in his current contract, and Chelsea are trying to lower that fee by offering players in exchange.

Sevilla rejected the chance to sign Emerson Palmieri, so the Blues will now offer Kurt Zouma to the Spanish side.

West Ham have also shown an interest in Zouma, who is settled in London and might be keen to stay in the Premier League.

But even if Sevilla reject the centre-back, that will not derail Chelsea's attempts to acquire Kounde.

The European champions have been tracking the defender for two years and are determined to land him this summer.

Kounde would also be keen on a move to west London, but Chelsea must first agree terms with Sevilla.

Much of the focus in recent weeks has been on the Blues' attempts to sign a new striker, which has seen them pursue Romelu Lukaku, Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski.

It is not hard to see why Chelsea want to add another player to their pool of centre-backs, though.

Thiago Silva turns 37 in September, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are out of contract next summer, and Zouma appears to be expendable.

It would certainly not be a surprise to see Kounde at Stamford Bridge by the time the window closes.

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