Thomas Tuchel admits Trevoh Chalobah emergence could halt Jules Kounde pursuit

Tom Gott
Thomas Tuchel may no longer want a new centre-back
Thomas Tuchel may no longer want a new centre-back / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has confessed that the club may not reignite their interest in Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde after watching Trevoh Chalobah emerge into a genuine first-team player.

The Blues were hot on Kounde's tail in the summer and hoped to bring the Frenchman in for around £50m, only for Sevilla to knock them back and demand closer to the £70m mark.

Chelsea declined to pay up and instead chose to put their faith in Chalobah, and the 22-year-old academy graduate has not disappointed. He has made ten appearances in all competitions and has looked completely at home in Tuchel's back three, earning himself a new contract this week.

Having stumbled across the new centre-back he was looking for, Tuchel admitted that Kounde may no longer be a priority for Chelsea.

"I think every transfer period you need to evaluate again," Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Burnley on Saturday. "You cannot say what we wanted in the summer, we do in the winter. And what we want to do in winter, we want to do the next summer. It is not like this.

"Your opinion changes, players change, you have evolvement in the group, you have an atmosphere that you build, you see who is absolutely reliable and these connections build up and create something special hopefully in the group.

"So you cannot say what we tried in the summer did not happen so we will try again for sure in the winter. Sometimes it is like this. If we see the same need, but clearly, Trevoh is now here with us and he deserves to be here with us. It had nothing to do with if we can sign another central defender or not. But he stepped up.

"The responsibility was even more on his shoulders and he can handle it so far in a very impressive way. This is the situation and it has an effect on our next decisions in the next transfer period. It is always like this."

Those in charge at Stamford Bridge remain keen on Kounde and may well turn to the Frenchman in the future, especially with so many of Chelsea's starting centre-backs running out of time on their contracts.

Antonio Rudiger is a long way away from signing an extension, while Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva are all approaching the final six months of their contracts and there are various levels of optimism about extensions.