Chelsea’s quite quiet January is about to go quite quietly into the night, but behind the scenes, we’re apparently starting to make quiet moves for the next transfer window already. Quite!
Diario AS claim that the Blues are “returning to the fray” to arrange the long-awaited transfer of Jules Koundé, which looked to be happening last summer ... until it didn’t. The 23-year-old France international was not best pleased by Sevilla’s last-minute games at the negotiating table, but to his credit, got over all that to focus on the task at hand, and has played a key role in what’s been a fairly excellent season in Nervión.
Sevilla, who have La Liga’s best defensive record, are the only challengers left to Real Madrid this season (four points behind), and Koundé (as well as defensive partner Diego Carlos) are a big reason why. And because of that success, Sevilla had also made it clear that unless someone paid the €80m release clause, Koundé wasn’t going anywhere this month.
But the story is expected to be very different in the summer, and apparently Chelsea are hoping to get the jump on any competition to finally finalize this €50-55m transfer — like, say, we did with Hakim Ziyech from Ajax a couple Februaries ago.
Given the recent developments around the contract situations of our own defenders, with Andreas Christensen and César Azpilicueta both looking likely to leave and Antonio Rüdiger still in limbo as well, getting Koundé over the line just might have become even more imperative than last year.