Chelsea ‘very close’ to signing Jules Kounde as Thomas Tuchel gets Barcelona revenge

Chelsea's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures

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Chelsea are reportedly ‘very close’ to signing Sevilla defender Jules Kounde to get revenge over Barcelona. Barca have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Raphinha but the Blues look set to win the race for Kounde.

Thomas Tuchel is still in the market for defenders following the arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both left Stamford Bridge on free transfers at the end of their contracts.

Cesar Azpilicueta could also be on his way before the window shuts. Chelsea are in talks over signing Paris Saint-Germain star Presnel Kimpbembe.

But it appears they are still keen on signing his France team-mate Kounde. Spanish football journalist Manu Sainz says Chelsea are hopeful of completing a deal for the 23-year-old next week.

Barca are also interested in Kounde but Chelsea look set to get their man. Sainz tweeted on Sunday: “Kounde is very close to being transferred to Chelsea.

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“Except for a radical change, the English club hopes that the agreement will be closed next week. Xavi spoke with the player and convinced him to go to Barca, but Chelsea bets more strongly.”

Barca signed Raphinha from Leeds last week despite Chelsea agreeing a fee with their Premier League rivals earlier in the window for the Brazil winger. But Chelsea are set to get their own back by securing Kounde.

Kounde has been linked with a move to west London for the last three transfer windows. A deal was on the cards last summer but Chelsea were not willing to match Sevilla’s asking price for the player.

However, with just two years remaining on his contract at the La Liga club, he could well be on his way this summer. Chelsea only completed a deal for Koulibaly on Friday.

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Tuchel was pleased to get the £34million deal over the line for the Senegal star. He said: “‘I’m very happy with him signing and joining our team.

“He’s now the second signing of the summer and again we have a strong player, a strong personality with big experience. From our point of view, he’s a perfect addition to the group.”

However, Tuchel admitted he is still on the search for new players. He added: “We’re working on more numbers.

“Everybody is wishing to have the complete team in pre-season but this almost never happens. We’re working on it as fast as possible but at the same time we’re relaxed.”

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