Sevilla’s Director of Football has confirmed Jules Kounde will be sold this summer amid persistent links to Chelsea – on one condition.
The Blues are on the verge of breaking their transfer record by bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge. The Belgian is poised to complete a deal worth £97.5m that would’ve broken the British transfer record had Jack Grealish not joined Man City last week.
Lukaku will provide a guaranteed source of goals up front. And Rio Ferdinand fears he will have his heart set on punishing Man Utd specifically.
Once Lukaku’s deal is completed, Chelsea will reportedly set about completing three objectives.
The most eye-catching of those will be to acquire a new centre-half, and Kounde is atop their list.
The 22-year-old reportedly holds a £68m release clause within his contract. Triggering that would hasten the process, but Chelsea have thus far been reluctant to do so.
They have explored the possibility of using West Ham target Kurt Zouma as a makeweight to sweeten the deal. That avenue led to a dead end, but Chelsea can rest assured a deal is there for the making if Sevilla chief Monchi’s latest comments are anything to go by.
Via Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Monchi confirmed Kounde will be sold in keeping with Sevilla’s ‘policy’ of selling to improve through re-investment.
However, the Sevilla will not be dictated to over the fee. Monchi declared only an “important bid” will be taken into consideration.
“Many clubs have asked for Koundé,” said Monchi. “Of course there’s interest but no official bid on the table.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. If an important bid arrives, we’ll sell as this is our policy to improve the team”.
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Chelsea stand firm over Zouma valuation
Meanwhile, Chelsea have reportedly warned West Ham that Zouma will not be be sold for a penny less than £25m. That comes amid an enquiry from the Hammers.
David Moyes is desperate to bolster his Hammers squad as they prepare to embark on Europa League football. And Moyes has made adding to his central defensive options one of his top priorities this summer.
As per 90min, the Hammers have since been informed that Chelsea are unwilling to compromise on their £25m asking price for Zouma.
Given he has made 150 appearances for Chelsea and a further 66 over loan spells at Everton and Stoke, the 26-year-old comes with plenty of Premier League know-how.
However, it appears the Hammers will only look at Zouma once a deal for their top target Nikola Milenkovic is wrapped up.