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Newly appointed Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier could be left with egg on his face after revealing he laughed off Presnel Kimpembe to Chelsea rumours… but talks are progressing.
The Blues are desperate to bring in defensive reinforcements as a matter of urgency having lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen at the end of last season when their contracts expired. It is also being considered that both Marcos Alonso and captain Cesar Azpilicueta are in talks with Barcelona as well.
Earlier this week it was announced that the Blues had signed one replacement, bringing in Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in a deal worth £33million. And now the Blues’ attention has turned to acquiring another defender that is proven on the European stage, Kimpembe.
Fabrizio Romano reports that Chelsea are now in "direct talks" with PSG over a move for the France international, with the Ligue 1 outfit willing to let the defender depart if a "good proposal" arrives. PSG are hoping for an offer in the region of £55m, though Chelsea are hoping to strike a deal for approximately £40m.
Though this is likely to all be news to PSG boss Galtier, who laughed off speculation that the 26-year-old would be departing this summer. He told L’Equipe : “I've read everything that has been said about Kimpembe.
"We even laughed about it together. I like him – he's a great centre back but what will happen, I don't know."
Kimpembe made 30 Ligue 1 appearances last season, being deployed as a central defender and as a makeshift left back on occasions – thus, he should be suited to playing on the left side of a back three. Thomas Tuchel also worked with the academy product in the two years he spent with The Parisiens.
Chelsea have also held talks with Manchester City over a move for Nathan Ake, who came through the academy at the Stamford Bridge outfit. However, it is widely reported negotiations have broken down after Pep Guardiola's side decided that they did not want to part ways with the versatile defender – with The Athletic revealing that the Netherlands international is 'pleased' that that is the case.
Jules Kounde also remains a target having failed to secure his long-awaited move to the Premier League in the January transfer window. Sevilla stood strong on their asking price for the central defender previously and are likely to do so again having sold Diego Carlos to Aston Villa in the early stages of this window.
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