In pictures: Arsenal v Chelsea
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Chelsea have run into complications as they continue to press Sevilla on the signing of centre-back Jules Kounde. The Frenchman would set the Blues back a significant transfer fee, made even greater by the fact that a percentage of it would be sent to Kounde’s old club, Bordeaux.
Transfer chief Marina Granovskaia is still intent on bringing in a centre-back, despite Thomas Tuchel’s pledge to stick with Trevoh Chalobah who enjoyed a breakthrough in the early weeks of this season.
Chalobah scored on the opening weekend against Crystal Palace, before finding himself on the bench against Arsenal.
Kurt Zouma’s imminent £25million move to West Ham would leave a vacancy in the squad, however, which could have Kounde’s name on it.
According to AS, Sevilla are demanding more money from Chelsea as 15% of the fee will be sent back to Bordeaux, who Sevilla signed him from in 2019.
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As a result, a fee of around £55m would reportedly be the threshold for the Spanish side to feel as though a fair deal had been reached.
Based on the events of last summer, Sevilla are likely to stand firm on their valuation after Manchester City’s failed attempts to bring Kounde to the Etihad.
If Chelsea stepped up and met Kounde’s asking price, Bordeaux would net a cool £8m on top of the £20m they received in 2019.
With French sides hit harder than most by the COVID-19 pandemic, they will undoubtedly hope that the player gets his move to west London.
Sevilla have made a perfect start to the La Liga season, notching two wins from two with Kounde at the heart of defence in both games.
Chelsea have done the same. Having built on their sensational Champions League victory in May, Stamford Bridge represents an enticing destination for the 22-year-old.
Tuchel will face his toughest assignment of the season on Saturday, however, when he prepares his side to take on Liverpool at Anfield.
Romelu Lukaku will hope to build on his dominant debut against Arsenal, although this time he will have to overcome a much tougher opponent in Virgil van Dijk.
With Kounde negotiations clearly in full flow behind the scenes, Chelsea’s centre-backs will find themselves under pressure to perform.
The Sevilla defender is undoubtedly starting quality if he makes the switch to Stamford Bridge, and it would mark the next instalment of Chelsea’s frivolous summer which puts them in contention to make a strong Premier League title charge.
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