After both Nathan Aké and Presnel Kimpembe withdrew from consideration, Chelsea ramped up their pursuit of centre defender Jules Koundé once again. According to the most recent sources, a deal is in fact extremely close to being completed.
(Although young Joko Gvardiol’s name has suddenly resurfaced to the rumour mill, there is still no genuine possibility of even an opportunity for a move.) Kimpembe is still considered to be a potential alternative, if he could be persuaded.
The same source who told me #CFC were confident about signing Raheem Sterling weeks ago is now saying the same about Jules Kounde…did joke though that it was the case last year too. — Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) July 19, 2022
We’ve been in this situation before, most notably around this time last year, but according to Ben Jacobs, Gianluca Di Marzio, Marca, and others, Chelsea and Sevilla could soon reach an agreement on a transaction for about €60 million, add-ons included.
This is pretty much in line with our most recent reported bid of €55m, not including add-ons, a fee below Sevilla’s initial demands.
Chelsea expect to agree a fee with Sevilla for Jules Kounde today for around €60 million, including add ons. Sevilla want a deal wrapped up by Thursday latest when they travel to Portugal. Kounde very open to #CFC move and expects to know his next club by end of week. — Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) July 20, 2022
What else has changed in this situation outside Chelsea’s drive for a deal, then?
The main contributing cause may be Sevilla’s desire to resolve matters on their own as they start their preseason preparations in earnest, but Barcelona’s eventual exhaustion of financial tricks levers has likely also played a role. Sevilla had hoped for a bidding battle, but it hasn’t really happened, with Barca generally remaining in the background.