Champions League winners Chelsea remain keen on signing Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and are said to be in direct contact with the Spanish club.
The Blues have targeted the 22-year-old throughout the summer and previously explored the idea of signing him as part of a player plus cash deal involving either Kenedy or Kurt Zouma.
Zouma's future is integral to the Kounde deal, with Chelsea wanting a solution regarding him before they tie up any potential move for Kounde.
West Ham United remain interested in Zouma, having previously agreed a fee with Chelsea but were unable to tie up personal terms on the transfer.
According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are back in direct contact with Sevilla for Kounde, with talks ongoing between all relevant parties and a new bid believed to be imminent.
Chelsea hope to move for the player quickly with an official bid as they know Sevilla will not sell him in the final days of the window in order to allow time to sign a replacement.
Earlier approaches this summer have not met the £55million valuation for Kounde and have included players plus cash, with both Zouma and Brazilian winger Kenedy offered to Sevilla.
Kounde joined the six-time Europa League winners from Bordeaux in 2019 and made 49 appearances for the club last season, as he also attracted interest from Tottenham Hotspur.
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The twice-capped Frenchman also has three years still remaining on his contract, which is a key factor in Sevilla demanding Chelsea meet their high valuation.
The hope to solve the situation regarding Zouma before the deal is completed could be motivated by Chelsea's hopes to raise funds for the deal, with the effects of the pandemic on finances and the club breaking their club-record fee to sign Romelu Lukaku already this summer.
The Belgian striker returned to the club after seven years as he signed from Inter Milan for £97.5million to become Thomas Tuchel's second signing, after free agent Marcus Bettinelli.
In addition to the financial factors affecting the deal, Tuchel currently has seven central defenders in his first-team squad at Stamford Bridge.
Youngsters Malang Sarr and Ethan Ampadu are expected to once again be loaned out in addition to the plans to sell Zouma.
Fikayo Tomori has already been sold as he made his successful loan spell at AC Milan permanent for a fee worth £26million.
Trevoh Chalobah has also moved up from the under-23s for this season and impressed in the UEFA Super Cup and the club's opening day league win over Crystal Palace.
Chalobah, who spent last season on loan at Lorient, scored the third in a 3-0 victory as he claimed the man of the match award.
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