Sevilla director Monchi has claimed that Chelsea only have themselves to blame for losing out on Jules Kounde to Barcelona (The Express).
The Stamford Bridge outfit have now lost out on two targets to the La Liga giants, with Raphinha being the other one.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have already bolstered their defence by securing the services of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for €40million (£33.5million) (The Athletic). However, they need more additions, having lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers to Real Madrid and Xavi Hernandez’s team, respectively (BBC).
Monchi has now suggested that the west Londoners’ reluctance to pull the trigger caused them to lose this pursuit.
He added how the Catalans’ offer was better than the English outfit’s proposal, which prompted them to give the green light to their rivals in the end.
Monchi said: “Last Thursday we had an agreement with Chelsea and the player. When everything was closed and there was a good offer, everything stopped. And that’s where Barca appeared. The first time he contacted was last Monday, with Mateu Alemany. Barca made an effort and closed itself.”
“Kounde was agreed to sell to Chelsea, there was an agreement with the player. Chelsea hesitated and said they wanted to wait. That wait was delayed and Barca appeared. It’s true that Chelsea then wanted to come back, but Barca’s offer, in the end, was better.”
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It is puzzling to see how the Blaugrana club’s bid is better than the English side’s when looking at the transfer fees. The only reasonable explanation could be that Barca may potentially have offered better terms in terms of a fixed amount up front when compared to the structure in Chelsea’s offer.
Kounde’s loss is a damning one indeed, but perhaps the Blues’ hesitation in finalising the move could be down to Thomas Tuchel’s doubts regarding the centre-back’s height (The Guardian). If that is the case, then they must line up other targets and get hold of them at the earliest.
Previously, Chelsea pursued Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Ake, but de Ligt switched from Juventus to Bayern Munich while Ake eventually stayed at Manchester City. Now, the London-based outfit has other options lined up on the shortlist who could be on the cards to join them this summer.
Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana, Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan and Bayern Munchen defender Benjamin Pavard are some of the targets who are on Tuchel’s radar at this moment. Fofana and Skriniar would undoubtedly be great options indeed, with Pavard being the least attractive one among them.
Only time will answer whether Chelsea would succeed in bringing any one of them to Stamford Bridge. There are others areas in the squad that must be improved, so it would be best if they take care of this business as soon as possible.