Chelsea v Burnley: Match in Pictures
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Sevilla president José Castro Carmona has admitted that Chelsea target Jules Kounde could be sold in the January transfer window to fund the Spanish club’s own recruitment drive. Kounde, who is widely regarded as one of Europe’s finest young centre-backs, has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge for some time.
Chelsea identified Kounde as a priority target towards the end of last season and tried to secure his services over the summer.
The west Londoners reportedly agreed personal terms with the player and his agent, but were unable to settle on a fee with Sevilla.
The La Liga heavyweights refused to accept any bids lower than Kounde’s release clause, which stands in the region of £66million.
However, Chelsea are said to be keen on reigniting their pursuit of the 22-year-old when January rolls around as they look to improve their defensive ranks ahead of the Premier League run-in.
It seems as though Sevilla might be prepared to entertain a cut-price offer at the second time of asking, with Kounde said to have been left unsettled by the failure of his proposed move to Chelsea.
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Castro, who has served as the club’s president since 2013, has admitted that he cannot rule out the possibility of selling Kounde if a suitable bid is tabled during the mid-season transfer window.
“Jules Koundé deal? We’re not going to change our position,” Castro told Cope.
“If the proposal we receive is out of market, we’ll sell our players to sign new ones.”
Castro has previously revealed that he turned down a bid worth around £42.3m from Chelsea for Kounde over the summer, underlining his ambition to keep hold of Sevilla’s best players for as long as possible.
“Nobody can escape the fact we are coming out of a pandemic and this year there was no choice but to give a negative financial result,” he told Diario de Sevilla last month.
“There has been no income from season tickets, match tickets or bars. Marketing and television revenues have suffered.
“Even so, with Chelsea’s offer of 50 million euros, the deficit was wiped out. That speaks of the strength of the club.
“I don’t know how many teams in Spain would say ‘no’ to Chelsea’s €50m and maintain this deficit, considering that the squad is worth €400m [£340m].
“The deficit comes from the pandemic, but also from choosing to build a stronger squad rather than sell in the last two markets.
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“That’s called ambition and sometimes to have ambition you have to have a deficit. It’s OK.”
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Chelsea will decide to go back in for Kounde in January or wait until the summer transfer window.
A number of Blues defenders will be out of contract at the end of the season, including the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta.
It seems likely that Chelsea could look to channel their efforts into tying down their existing stars before dipping into the January market to land reinforcements.
However, the European champions have gained a formidable reputation for their big-spending habits in recent years and could soon be on the hunt for one or two new players in January.
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