Chelsea have a lot of defenders on their shortlist as they could be losing a number of existing centre-backs this summer – Antonio Rudiger won’t sign a new contract and is closing in on a move to Real Madrid while Andreas Christensen won’t extend his stay at Stamford Bridge and is nearing a move to Barcelona.
Chelsea have shown an interest in Villarreal’s Pau Torres, but Sport (h/t Sport Witness) say the Blues have their eye on another La Liga defender – Jules Kounde. The 23-year-old joined Sevilla on a five-year deal from Girondins Bordeaux in 2019 and has gone on to make 128 appearances in all competitions, scoring eight goals with three assists.
Kounde has made 27 Liga appearances this season, winning 63/104 aerial duels, completing 88.5% of his 1760 passes, blocking 11 shots, making 83 clearances, averaging a tackle (35) or interception (21) every 41 minutes, giving away only one foul every 163 minutes and being dribbled past just once every 254 minutes.
Sport say the French international wants to ‘pack his bags’ and leave Sevilla this summer, opening the door for Chelsea who tried and failed to sign Kounde last summer. Kounde was reportedly unhappy that a move fell through as Sevilla rejected all offers below his £68m release clause, but Chelsea will renew their interest.
They’ll have to wait until Roman Abramovich has left the club before bringing in any new players this summer, however, as Chelsea are under embargo due to sanctions levied at the owner. They’re having to wait for a takeover to be completed before the squad can be strengthened.
Rudiger and Christensen departing Stamford Bridge this summer leaves Thomas Tuchel without a regular partner alongside Thiago Silva. Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah have been provided cover for Silva, Rudiger and Christensen, so it’s unlikely Tuchel will promote within to fill their shoes.