Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Jules Kounde after agreeing to pay £55 million to Sevilla, according to reports.
The 23-year-old is on the verge of completing a summer transfer to Stamford Bridge, which will see him make the switch to England following a year-long pursuit.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were close to signing the Frenchman last summer, but Sevilla changed the goalposts and increased their asking price, a move that Chelsea weren’t happy with and didn’t agree to.
As reported by Matt Law of The Telegraph, Kounde is now set to become Tuchel’s third signing of the summer.
Kounde will sign a five-year contract in the capital, joining Raheem Sterling and fellow defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
Barcelona have accepted defeat, which was shared by club president Joan Laporta in Las Vegas, who told a fan: “He will sign for Chelsea.”
Barcelona activated another economic lever this week and it looked as though they would make an official offer for the France international.
But that hasn't come and Sevilla will now sell Kounde to Chelsea this summer, bolstering Tuchel's backline following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
This will come as no surprise to Tuchel, who is being backed by the new owners this summer, after he recently admitted that more signings were being targeted.
"I have a figure,” Tuchel said, while on the club's tour of the United States, on the amount of signings required this summer.
“I think we need a couple more players to improve the squad.
"We are third last season. There was a gap. In general, if you want to keep your position or fight, you need to improve.
"We even lost players. It is common sense we need to bring new quality to the team to maintain our level, not even speaking about improving our level."
Kounde's arrival could spell the end of Cesar Azpilicueta at Chelsea. He is wanted by Barcelona, and Chelsea were keeping hold of their club captain until defensive reinforcements were brought in.
Now two defenders, first Koulibaly and soon Kounde, are set to be signed, the Spaniard's time at Stamford Bridge could be coming to an end.
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