Transfer Talk: Kounde chaos gives Tuchel the Blues
Thomas Tuchel is facing a bitter blow to his summer transfer plans with Chelsea’s move for Jules Kounde now on the verge of collapse.
Frenchman Kounde, 23, looked set to swap Sevilla for Stamford Bridge and become the Blues’ third summer signing after the captures of Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly.
A deal was widely reported to be on the verge of being agreed between the two clubs but strong late interest from Barcelona is threatening to derail things completely.
The Catalan giants have been splashing the cash recently despite well-documented financial issues and it was thought luring Kounde to the Camp Nou would be a bridge too far.
Yet the Guardian suggest the LaLiga outfit have had a change of heart over the weekend, with the £55million-rated centre-back now firmly in their sights.
Barca have supposedly told Kounde to await their opening offer — a move that has angered Chelsea so much that they could pull out of negotiations entirely.
Tuchel, who is said to be extremely frustrated by the Londoners’ lack of business, even admitted that Barca’s conduct could see him block their pursuit of skipper Cesar Azpilicueta.
Should a move for Kounde not materialise, 90min say alternative defensive targets for Chelsea include Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Inter Milan star Milan Skriniar and Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig.
Young prospect Levi Colwill could play a part for the Blues if new recruits are not secured, though the 19-year-old will likely seek a loan if he does fall further down the pecking order.
In other news
The Metro claim that Lyon are finally ready to listen to offers for 24-year-old midfielder Lucas Paqueta — a top target of Arsenal.
West Ham have agreed terms with Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca over a £35.5m move, with the 23-year-old Italian international having a medical today according to the Guardian.
Reports in Spain suggest Barcelona boss Xavi has told Dutch forward Memphis Depay, 28, to seek a new club due to the recent arrivals of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.