Thomas Tuchel previews Spurs v Chelsea
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Chelsea may have been presented with an alternative signing to Jules Kounde. The Blues were known admirers of the French centre-back, but failed to agree a deal with his club Sevilla this summer.
The club’s transfer chief Marina Granovskaia was not willing to pay the fee wanted by Sevilla for Kounde.
And Chelsea may consider a cheaper alternative following news that Bayern Munich’s talks with centre-back Nicklas Sule are on hold.
The German defender was previously linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, and is in the last year of his contract with Bayern.
But, according to German transfer expert Christian Falk, the club have halted talks over an extension, despite agreeing new contracts with Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in recent weeks.
Falk has previously claimed that Sule would love to play in the Premier League in the future, albeit for rivals Manchester United.
But Chelsea are an equally as attractive proposition as the reigning champions of Europe.
And a low-ball bid in January could be enough to tempt Bayern into selling, with Sule otherwise set to walk away for free in the summer.
Granovskaia, Roman Abramovich’s right-hand woman, has overseen transfer operations at Stamford Bridge for much of the past decade.
And the 46-year-old again had a big hand in securing the signing of Lukaku from Inter Milan this summer.
But Granovskaia will be sweating on the future of four key Chelsea players, who are all now in the final year of their contracts at the club.
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The four players, all defenders, could walk away from west London for free in the summer of 2022.
And Granovskaia’s main task for the next few months will be to determine the futures of Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva and line up potential replacements.
Chelsea’s transfer activity suggests that Granovskaia is well aware of the potential need to strengthen the club’s defensive ranks.
But the Blues’ attempts to sign France international Kounde in the summer were unsuccessful, with the Premier League club expected to return with a bid for the Sevilla player in future transfer windows.
“The only formal offer from Chelsea,” Sevilla director of football Monchi said after the transfer window closed.
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“We weren’t satisfied with the offer, and it was linked to Chelsea selling a player. It was a decent fee but it didn’t meet our criteria.”
Granovskaia will be relatively confident of getting her man the second time around, after it was revealed that Kounde’s preferred move was to Stamford Bridge.
“There’s been a lot of talk about moves made for Jules, the majority of which were rejected by the player,” Monchi said.
“If there was one club he liked the look of, it was Chelsea.”
But if a fee for Kounde cannot be agreed, then the Blues now have a more-than-suitable alternative in Sule, who could well be signed for a much cheaper fee.
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