Date:16th June 2022 at 12:20pm
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Chelsea have received a setback in their pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.

The Lowdown: Move Complicated by Injury

Last summer the Blues made a deadline-day offer for the 23-year-old, but it was rejected, with the Spanish club calling it “unsatisfactory”.

Thomas Tuchel’s side reignited their interest in the France international, but their efforts have been hit by the centre-back undergoing surgery for a long-term pelvis injury.

Sevilla have already sold one defender in Diego Carlos, who has moved to Aston Villa in a £26m deal.

The Latest: Kounde Choses Barca

According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, the player has told his club that his preference is to move to Barcelona.

This is despite Chelsea and Newcastle both offering to meet the €90m (£77.3m) release clause.

Barca cannot afford to pay the full release clause but, because it is Kounde’s preference, Sevilla are reportedly willing to lower the price to €65-70m (£55.9-60.1m).

 The Verdict: Chelsea Should Move On

The £54m-rated star has been an integral part of his side’s defence, playing 32 league games this season, helping Sevilla have the meanest defence in La Liga with only 30 goals conceded.

The former Bordeaux defender’s 3.1 clearances and 0.6 blocks per game can only be bettered at the Spanish club by his central defensive partner Carlos, who has been very complimentary of the 23-year-old, suggesting that “he can play for great European clubs”.

“Yes, he has quality and he can play for great European clubs.

“He is a young player who can still improve over time, he has got great qualities, he is very strong and I am sure he can play for a big club as a great defender.”

At the other end of the pitch, the nine-time France international is in the top 5% for centre-backs in La Liga for passes, dribbles, and shot-creating actions per 90 minutes.

His abilities has led to the Sevilla player being hailed as “special” by Spanish football expert Euan McTear.

“He’s still so young, he’s got energy, great positioning too. All the centre-backs, not just in Spain I think, but if you look around Europe, he’s got to be one of the highest prospects.”

However, the 5 foot 10 defender has said he would rather be somewhere else, and after the Lukaku situation this year, the west London club may not want to deal with that again.

The Belgium international had an underwhelming year, which wasn’t helped by his interview claiming that he wanted to return to Simone Inzaghi’s side.

“I always said that I love Inter and I’ll play for them again. I really hope so. I fell in love with Italy.

“I hope from the bottom of my heart to go back to Inter and not at the end of my career but when I’m still at a good enough level to win more trophies.”

Considering the tension this caused at Stamford Bridge, Thomas Tuchel cannot afford to spend big money again on a player like Kounde, who doesn’t want to go to Chelsea.

AND in other news, Fabrizio Romano claims Chelsea are eyeing “explosive” £6.3m-rated titan, he won’t cost a penny