Saturday, June 25

Jules Kounde: Chelsea unconcerned by late Barcelona interest

Chelsea are unconcerned about late interest from Barcelona in Jules Kounde, 90min understands, safe in the belief that they are still leading the pursuit of the Sevilla defender.

Kounde has been a longstanding target for Chelsea and came close to a move to Stamford Bridge last summer before the La Liga side increased their demands at the last minute.

However, the Blues’ interest has not waned over the course of the season and throughout the takeover process, with 90min previously reporting that the 23-year-old is set to be one of the first faces through the door under Todd Boehly’s ownership.

Indeed, talks are currently ongoing with Sevilla over a permanent transfer for the centre-back.

90min understands Chelsea are hoping to reach an agreement for around €60m (£51.2m), although as it stands Sevilla are demanding that the France international’s €80m (£68.2m) release clause is met, with no indication that they will back down.

The two parties could come to a compromise should the west London club table an offer worth €70m (£59.7m) plus add-ons.

Fellow long-term admirers Barcelona are said to be considering making a disruptive move for Kounde in a bid to keep him in La Liga, but sources have told 90min that Chelsea are unfazed about links to the Blaugrana or any other club at this late stage, having played the long game to get their man.

Listen now to 90min’s brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth. On their most packed show to date, the guys discuss Sadio Mane’s valuation as Liverpool win the race for Darwin Nunez, how Marc Roca joining Leeds could allow Kalvin Phillips to depart for long-time admirers Manchester City, the latest on Manchester United’s pursuits of Frenkie de Jong & Antony and much more.

The Frenchman’s desire to move to London is also unwavering, and Chelsea hope to wrap up a deal by early July.

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Incidentally, Barcelona are set to profit from a defensive exodus at Stamford Bridge. Soon-to-be free agent Andreas Christensen is expected to join imminently, while Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso are both of serious interest to the Catalan giants.

For more from Krishan Davis, follow him on Twitter.


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