CHELSEA have received a major boost in their pursuit of Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.
It has been widely reported that the Blues are interested in signing the defender as one of the first signings of the Todd Boehly era at the club.
The Frenchman, who can also cover at right-back, joined Sevilla from Bordeaux in 2019 but is said to be on the move again.
The plotline comes a year after the same transfer fell through late in the window.
Now Sevilla chief Jose Maria Cruz de Andres has confirmed Kounde wants to move on – and even the Chelsea name has been dropped as an option.
He said: “Again, the player, I’m sure, respects Sevilla FC. He’s happy with us. In Koundé’s case, it’s not about the money. It’s a question of him who wants to play in a more competitive team than Sevilla FC.
“I’m sure he’s an attractive player for teams like Chelsea, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and those kinds of teams. He wants to play in a more competitive team.
The deal would see Sevilla lose their two starting centre-backs in the summer, after Aston Villa secured a deal for Diego Carlos.
Koundé, who has nine caps for France, is the first name on Thomas Tuchel’s list of centre-backs this summer.
This despite a long list of targets, involving the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Presnel Kimpembe.
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The wide interest comes after Chelsea lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen at the end of their contracts.
Rumors of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta leaving could twist the Blues’ arm to act quickly in this window as they try to keep the hunt for Liverpool and champions Manchester City going.