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Chelsea centre back rumors: Raphael Varane, Maxence Lacroix, Jules Koundé, Pau Torres latest

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Not a position of great need... but we’re still searching anyway

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-WOLFSBURG-MAINZ Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane has reportedly rejected Real Madrid’s latest 4-year contract offer that would have seen his salary rise to €7m from the current €5.5m, and Real will now withdraw the proposal the same way they did for Sergio Ramos. According to Cadena SER, Ramos’ departure has no bearing on Varane’s future, with Los Blancos happy to sell the latter at a satisfactory price due to his contract situation.

Manchester United have apparently lodged a €50m bid for the 28-year-old, which was rejected, with Real holding out for a higher fee owing to his good performances in the Euros so far, as per Manchester Evening News. While United are ready to negotiate a higher fee, they aren’t willing to meet the Frenchman’s €70m valuation, as per ESPN. This could provide an opportunity for PSG to make a move of their own, according to El Confidencial, with Marca reporting that the Parisians have made preliminary enquiries.

Varane on his part is yet to make a decision on his future, with his focus currently locked on Euro 2020 duty with the France national team, as per reports from Goal and AS.


Maxence Lacroix

Another centre back on Chelsea’s wish-list is Maxence Lacroix of Vfl Wolfsburg. The Blues’ main competitor in the race is RB Leipzig and according to Sky Deutschland, the Bundesliga side have had a second bid rejected by Wolfsburg for the French defender. The Wolves are seemingly sticking around their price of €25m, with Leipzig’s latest bid slightly more than €20m. And Lacroix has already told Wolfsburg that he wants to leave the club this summer.

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg sporting director Marcel Schäfer believes the 21-year-old will continue at Volkswagen Arena next season.

“I assume that he will continue to play for us. He can take another big step in his development with us in the Champions League.”

-Marcel Schäfer; Source: kicker via One Football


Jules Koundé

Despite Jules Koundé’s public hints towards a departure from Sevilla this summer, it would appear that he might have to continue for another year with the Spanish club. According to AS, while there’s been interest in the central defender from the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Real Madrid. Barcelona and Arsenal, no club has shown any sign of being willing to pay more than the €55m that Manchester City offered before the start of last season.

Real Madrid in particular want to sign Koundé as a replacement for the aforementioned Raphael Varane, but Marca reports they won’t be able to finance a move till the latter is sold.

Sevilla transfer chief Monchi is determined not to undersell the player, and he is no rush to listen to offers below what City put forward. Since no club has made a concrete offer yet, another season with the La Liga side is the most likely outcome at this stage since Koundé is also open to a contract extension should his current club give him a significant salary improvement.


Pau Torres

Another centre back we have been linked to, albeit who appears to be further down the wishlist is Villarreal’s Pau Torres. According to AS, Real Madrid have a keen interest in signing the Spanish international. However, they won’t be able to afford his €50m price-tag this summer.

Villarreal, who will be playing in next season’s Champions League, have no compulsion to sell and are therefore unlikely to give any discounts. Pau is willing to wait for another year and make a move in 2022, but Manchester United could make a concrete offer this summer, in case they fail to land Raphael Varane.