According to The Athletic, as cited by Daily Mail, Chelsea have ceded their interest in Jules Kounde. The reigning European champions had initially agreed on a £43 million move for the Sevilla centre-back. But the Spanish giants have now increased their asking price by £12.8 million, causing Chelsea to put their pursuit to a halt and they are now on the verge of pulling the plug on the deal.
Jules Kounde: The Biggest Defensive Talent In Europe?
Jules Kounde has been a huge success at Sevilla since joining the club a few years ago. Under the leadership of former Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui, the young defender has emerged as a major rock at the back for the Spanish outfit.
Indeed, the Frenchman has created a formidable defensive partnership alongside Diego Carlos at Sevilla. But what has particularly impressed the onlookers is his technical ability on the ball.
Despite the tender age of 22, Kounde has immense confidence in his ball-playing abilities. He can effortlessly move up the pitch, acting as the team’s main ball-carrier and easing the transition.
The former Bordeaux starlet is exceptionally fast as well, allowing him to cover a lot of ground in a quick span of time. It becomes quite useful when the team is playing with a higher line of defence.
A Big Miss For Thomas Tuchel?
Chelsea missing out on the deal to sign Jules Kounde could be a damning prospect for Thomas Tuchel. The former Dortmund head coach was hoping for the youngster’s arrival and had already offloaded Kurt Zouma to West Ham.
Although Malang Sarr and Ethan Ampadu remain options for the Blues, it appears unlikely that they are ready to make their respective breakthrough under Tuchel. It leaves the German tactician with Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger as his only viable options at centre-back.
Kounde’s botched move to Stamford Bridge could be a positive, too, however, particularly to one certain individual in Trevoh Chalobah. The young academy starlet has made quite the impression with his performance early on in the campaign and the absence of Kounde should allow him to gain a more prominent role in the first half of the season, at least until the January transfer window.
Tuchel himself rates the youngster highly, so it will be interesting to see if Chalobah can indeed live up to his expectations rather than following the footsteps of his older brother, Nathaniel Chalobah.