Chelsea move for Jules Kounde now looking unlikely

Tom Gott
Kounde's move to Chelsea looks to be off
Kounde's move to Chelsea looks to be off / Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Chelsea have paused their pursuit of Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde after the Spanish side opted to raise their asking price late in the negotiations.

The Blues have been chasing a new centre-back all summer and soon set their sights on Kounde, whose move to Stamford Bridge was expected to be triggered by Kurt Zouma's switch to West Ham United last week.

As noted by The Athletic, Chelsea were expecting to sign Kounde at that point and believed they had agreed a fee with Sevilla - a figure 90min learned could be around €50m (£43m) - but the Spanish side have stunned those at Stamford Bridge by raising their asking price late on.

Sevilla are now understood to be requesting an additional €15m (£12.8m), but Chelsea have refused to pay and are not expected to increase their offer, leaving Kounde in limbo as the end of the transfer window inches closer.

While Sevilla are prepared to sell Kounde, they want to be compensated for losing a player who is widely seen as one of the best young players in his position, and they also want to make sure they have a high-level replacement lined up - something which has proven to be difficult thus far.

As a result, Sevilla are now not as willing to offload Kounde as they once were. AS note they have hit Chelsea with an ultimatum, giving the Blues just 24 hours to make an offer of closer to £60m or else they will be forced to pay his release clause of over £70m.

It's a situation which will not please Kounde, who is known to want to join Chelsea and believes he was promised a transfer if a good offer came along. He refused to travel with the Sevilla squad for Saturday's meeting with Elche in the hope of speeding up a move to London.

As far as Chelsea are concerned, Thomas Tuchel now seems set to stick with his current crop of centre-backs, which was added to by the emergence of young Trevoh Chalobah.

The 22-year-old academy graduate enjoyed a stunning summer, leading Chelsea to Super Cup glory and scoring on his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace, and he has now been told that he will be kept around the first team at least until January.