The Frenchman has a big decision to make with Barcelona and Chelsea interested in his services
Chelsea have re-taken fresh ‘steps’ to sign long-term club target Jules Kounde as Cristiano Ronaldo’s influence has been revealed.
Just who will be lining up in the Chelsea backline next season continues to remain a mystery with a host of big names and a few closer to home touted around in relation to being potential Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen replacements. It was understood before the likes of key directors Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech left the club, Sevilla gem Kounde was the club’s first priority target for the defensive position. However, both exits have resulted in priorities shifting with it being revealed that Thomas Tuchel’s ideal target didn’t exactly line up with the club’s vision.
This is because Juventus centre-half Matthijs de Ligt is viewed as the ideal man to make up the foundation of what will be a newly looked Blues backline for 2022/23. Currently, new owner Todd Boehly and the Juventus board remain some ways apart in their valuation of a potential swap deal which will see Timo Werner plus significant cash head the Old Lady’s way in return for the 22-year-old. But the general consensus of this deal was that it would in essence mean that Kounde to Chelsea would become a no-go and recent reports from the Spanish press had reflected just this with some even going as far to expressing the Frenchman’s annoyance in seeing his dream move fade in front of his eyes.
A phone call with Xavi and Barcelona had reportedly changed Kounde’s feelings, however, regarding potentially choosing between Chelsea and Barcelona if two concrete offers were to come in.
Regardless of who he is to choose in the end amid this transfer race, Boehly has seemingly thrown his hat back in when he spoke to Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes last week. It was understood that alongside CR7 himself and a few other clients of the super-agent, the Kounde conversation also came back into the equation.
This is the view of Spanish outlet Diario AS via Sport Witness who have reported that ‘steps’ have been re-taken for the Blues to sign the Les Bleus international. Although not a client himself of Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent has been significant in helping Sevilla sort out various transfer deals in the past. Julen Lopetegui’s side are reportedly becoming frustrated with the lack of movement seen in trying to raise £55-58m for a player who still has a release clause in his current contract.
Whether or not Chelsea do seriously entertain a possible Kounde and Matthijs de Ligt axis for next season, it seems all is not lost yet despite the recent cynicism suggesting that a move for the La Liga defender was dead in the water. This is the stance held by The Telegraph who contrary to AS, have reported that Kounde is no longer viewed as a ‘priority’ but the powers to be in West London.