Chelsea’s approach for Sevilla and France centre-back Jules Kounde has collapsed after the clubs failed to reach an agreement over the transfer fee.
Chelsea have had their eye on Kounde for some time, although Sevilla have stood firm over their valuation of the 22-year-old - who was also of interest to Manchester United prior to them landing Raphael Varane. He also rebuffed Tottenham over a lack of Champions League football.
A deal between the Blues and Sevilla for Kounde had looked possible. However, only a few hours before the transfer deadline, Fabrizio Romano reported that talks had ended.
With no agreement made, the journalist explained there was ‘no intention’ to keep trying to negotiate, with Chelsea failing to meet Kounde’s release clause of €80m.
Sevilla will be boosted by Kounde staying as it means he can play for them in the Champions League. But for Chelsea the lack of a deal is a blow to their plans of adding depth to their squad.
The Blues recently let Kurt Zouma join West Ham, although still have four recognised centre-backs in Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah. Full-backs Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James are also versatile enough to fill in as auxiliary centre-backs in a three.
But despite the disappointment of missing out on Kounde, Chelsea fans can still celebrate a new arrival on transfer deadline day after the Blues reached a €5m agreement with Atletico Madrid to take midfielder Saul Niguez on loan for the rest of the season.
Saul became a first-team regular at Atletico in 2014 and has played 340 times for the club. But he became frustrated by his role last season and the Spanish champions allowed him to leave.