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Chelsea ‘open official talks’ with Sevilla for center back Jules Koundé — report

Oh?

Portugal v France - UEFA Euro 2020: Group F Photo by Angel Martinez - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Transfer Oracle Fabrizio Romano has broken the Chelsea Twitterverse today with an “exclusive” claim that the Blues have started “official talks” with Sevilla for center back Jules Koundé, who’s apparently our “main target” at the position. Clearly the masses have been starved of transfer action, any transfer action, and have pounced upon this story as if it were an oasis in the middle of a desert.

The 22-year-old France international is said to be open to a move since we can offer Champions League football (unlike Spurs), though prior rumors had his heart set on Real Madrid. (UPDATE: Romano claims we have agreed personal terms on a five-year deal already.)

Now we also have to convince Sevilla to agree a reasonable fee, presumably less than their previously reported asking price of €65-70m (and a release clause of €80m). The Guardian’s report claims we might throw Emerson in there as make-weight like Spurs did with Erik Lamela in the Bryan Gil deal with Sevilla — I know, an actual swap deal!. (UPDATE: Or maybe Kurt Zouma?)

Koundé certainly makes sense as a target for the club, especially as we had been setting up for a defensive revamp this summer.

Only Kurt Zouma is currently signed beyond next season, and while we’re supposedly negotiating extensions with Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen, we haven’t seen any progress made in that regard. Meanwhile, neither Thiago Silva nor César Azpilicueta are getting any younger.

Whether the Koundé news is meant to put pressure on that situation, or is an actual possibility of reinforcement, we’ll see. Presumably we’re not going to break the bank for him, but that might depend on how high we rate him. We should only be spending money on top signings, after all. Turning Fikayo Tomori (£28m) and Marc Guéhi (£18m) into Koundé (+£10-15m?) might not sit well with some, but could prove good business depending on how well all the principals involved end up doing.