Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Blues player ratings
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Chelsea have learned what it would take to sign Jules Kounde this summer, and somewhat unsurprisingly, a deal won’t be cheap. According to reports, Sevilla believe that Chelsea will not meet their demands and the Frenchman will stay in Spain beyond transfer deadline day.
The unexpected breakthrough of centre-back Trevoh Chalobah at the start of this season left Chelsea in a comfortable position defensively, although Kurt Zouma’s departure spurred them back into action.
Zouma signed for West Ham on Saturday in a £30million deal, leaving a vacancy in the Blues’ squad which they see as Kounde’s.
However, in a major blow for the club, Sevilla have laid all their cards on the table regarding their talented defender, and Marca claim that they will not let him leave for less than £68m.
The Spanish side are intent on playing hardball with transfer chief Marina Granovskaia, despite the verbal agreement in place on a contract until 2026 between the player and Chelsea.
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Kounde’s desire to join up with Thomas Tuchel’s side is no surprise, given they have built on their Champions League success with the signing of Romelu Lukaku.
Bringing in the Belgian, which set the club back £98m, has left Chelsea in a position where they would like to minimise their spending on a new defender.
In picking a fight with Sevilla over Kounde, they have chosen the wrong club.
Last summer, Manchester City tried and failed with a £50m bid for the Frenchman, a sizable figure which Sevilla did not hesitate in batting away.
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Clearly, they are not a side to cut corners or bargain with, meaning the ball is firmly in Chelsea’s court as to whether they press on with the deal at Kounde’s asking price.
After starting Sevilla’s first two games of the season, he was left out of the squad against Elche this weekend as speculation continued to circulate around his future.
In Kounde’s absence, Sevilla dropped their first points of the campaign, illustrating just how crucial he is to their success.
Even if Chelsea were to pass up on the opportunity to sign the 22-year-old, Tuchel would have enough depth in defence to make a meaningful charge for domestic and European honours this campaign.
However, with rival sides strengthening relentlessly, the German clearly feels as though this is the right time to go all out.
Behind Tottenham, Chelsea have arguably made the best start to the new Premier League season, notching two easy wins before a hard-fought draw at Anfield, despite going down to 10 men before half-time.
Tuchel and co. have built up some serious momentum since his appointment as boss less than a year ago, but if he wants to add to his one significant signing so far this summer, the club will have to go big.
Sevilla feel as though Chelsea will not follow through having laid out the terms. It is up to the Blues to prove them wrong.
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