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Chelsea transfer news: Blues step up Jules Kounde pursuit as deadline approaches

Jules Kounde
(Image credit: PA)

Chelsea have reopened talks with Sevilla over a potential deal for Jules Kounde, according to reports.

The French centre-back has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in recent weeks, but Chelsea appeared to place their pursuit of the defender on the back-burner as they focused on the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Inter.

The Belgium international scored on his second debut for the Blues in Sunday's 2-0 victory over Arsenal.

Thomas Tuchel also wants to bolster his backline as he eyes a Premier League title challenge this term.

Kounde has emerged as Chelsea's leading defensive target, but time is running out for the club to strike a deal.

The summer transfer window will close at 11pm BST on August 31, giving the European champions just over a week to conclude their business.

According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea have now revived discussions with Sevilla as they attempt to get the Kounde deal over the line.

The club first needs to free up space in the squad for another new face, and they made steps towards doing so.

The Athletic writes that West Ham are willing to meet Chelsea's asking price of £25.7m for Kurt Zouma.

The Frenchman's wages could yet be a sticking point but West Ham will hope to agree personal terms with the centre-back.

Davide Zappacosta is on the verge of joining Atalanta on loan with an option to buy the right-back for £8m.

Malang Sarr is wanted on a loan by Bologna, while Ike Ugbo is on his way to Genk for £5m and Tiemoue Bakayoko is set to join AC Milan on a temporary basis.

Having successfully negotiated exits for some of the fringe members of Tuchel's squad, Chelsea are now ready to step up their interest in Kounde.

The centre-back is available for £68m due to a release clause in his contract with Sevilla.

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