Will Chelsea sign Kounde before the end of the transfer window?

Martin Macdonald
Chelsea transfer target Jules Kounde playing for Sevilla in La Liga

Chelsea have been dealt a transfer blow a day before the end of the summer window as it appears the move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde is off.

The Champions League winners have been locked in negotiations with Sevilla over the last few weeks, and the club believed that it was only a matter of time before a deal was agreed upon.

However, the talks have reportedly now ended, according to the Athletic.

Kounde was left out of Sevilla’s squad to face Elche in a match that finished 1-1 on Saturday, while Chelsea confirmed that Kurt Zouma has departed the club.

Chelsea sold Zouma for €35 million (£30m) . This is a fairly unremarkable piece of business given that FootballTransfers values Zouma at €34.2m.

The Blues and Sevilla had agreed on a fee of €50m for Kounde, though Sevilla were looking for a higher price.

Sevilla eventually did push higher by €15m as they are now asking for a fee of around €65m for the French defender.

Due to that price hike from the Spanish side, Chelsea have stepped away from negotiations for the moment, meaning that Thomas Tuchel will need to work with the defenders he has, until January at least.

How good is Jules Kounde?

Good enough that Man City very nearly trigged his £64m (€75m) release clause last summer before eventually deciding on Ruben Dias of Benfica instead.

Within the 2020/21 La Liga, he won the majority of his duels, the majority of his aerial duels, and the majority of his tackles.

He enjoyed the sixth-highest amount of touches of the central defenders in the league who have played over 500 minutes and the fifth most passes for a completion rate of 90%.

Despite Sevilla rejecting what was at the time labelled a “magnificent offer” from Man City, director of football Monchi praised Kounde’s professionalism since the deal didn’t materialise.

“He has been professional,” Monchi told El Desmarque.

“Sometimes we are so used to seeing less professional behaviour that we are struck by the normal.

“He has accepted with normality that he has signed a contract, with a clause and some payments. I appreciate that because it’s always easier when the other party understands your position.

“He has had professional and respectful behaviour with the club that has given him the opportunity to take another step in his career.”