Jules Kounde is excited at the prospect of teaming up with Kalidou Koulibaly at Chelsea as Blues owner Todd Boehly looks to beat Barcelona to a £51m transfer deal for the Sevilla defender in the coming days.
Thomas Tuchel has been forced to shake-up his defence at Stamford Bridge after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen decided to leave and join Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
There could yet be more departures from Chelsea’s back-line, with Barcelona looking to sign Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta before the window closes and Marcos Alonso keen to return to Spain after six years.
Chelsea have already spent around £33m to sign Senegal centre-back Koulibaly from Napoli but Tuchel knows further reinforcements are needed if the club are to make up ground on Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.
Tuchel has identified Sevilla star Kounde as a top target and Chelsea are hopeful of agreeing a deal for the highly-rated defender this week, according to CBS Sports.
Sevilla want 60m euros (£51m) for Kounde and are privately hoping Barcelona start a bidding war with Chelsea, with Nou Camp boss Xavi a known admirer.
But Chelsea appear to be leading the race with Kounde reportedly excited at the chance to form a partnership with Koulibaly in west London.
Koulibaly has established himself as one of the most best defenders in Italy over the past decade and CBS say Kounde is keen to get the opportunity to learn from him.
New Chelsea owner Boehly made England forward Raheem Sterling his first signing since taking over the club, with Koulibaly arriving through the doors shortly after.
‘I’m very happy with him signing and joining our team,’ Chelsea manager Tuchel said of Koulibaly this week.
‘He’s now the second signing of the summer and again we have a strong player, a strong personality with big experience. From our point of view, he’s a perfect addition to the group.’
Asked if he expected further arrivals this summer, Tuchel added: ‘We’re working on more numbers.
‘Everybody is wishing to have the complete team in pre-season but this almost never happens. We’re working on it as fast as possible but at the same time we’re relaxed.
‘We know what we have to offer and we’re also focused on the players who are here because in general that’s the most important.’
Chelsea finished third in the Premier League last season and kick-start their 2022-23 campaign against Everton on August 6.
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