Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he plans to sign ‘at least one more’ defender this summer amid links to Jules Kounde.
The 23-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge this summer but the transfer pursuit took a late turn as Barcelona re-entered the race for Kounde.
Barcelona’s deal was said to be ‘99 percent closed’ as Chelsea could miss out on the defender this summer, handing Tuchel’s side a blow.
The Blues were desperate for defensive reinforcements following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, while Cesar Azpilicueta’s future at Stamford Bridge remains in doubt.
Kalidou Koulibaly arrived from Napoli earlier in the summer for a fee of £34 million, slightly easing the concerns of Tuchel and Chelsea.
However, the head coach has now revealed that he wishes to bring in more than one central defender.
Speaking to Sky Sports, a journalist stated that Tuchel was looking for another defender to add to the signing of Koulibaly.
The head coach stepped in to correct this as he said: "Minimum one more, minimum one more."
In the same interview, Tuchel confirmed that Chelsea could look to block Azpilicueta’s move to Barcelona due to frustration in negotiations with the La Liga side.
“It's a tough question because I am not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants,” said Chelsea boss Tuchel on the defender’s future. "At some point it is about what we want.
"I just made the comparison about how much we fought for (Kalidou) Koulibaly, who is a national team player and roughly the same age.
“He is a hugely important player for Napoli but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea.
"I see him maybe at the same level but Barcelona don’t see him on that level.
"So I am not sure if I want to give him what he wants as he is a huge player.”
It remains to be seen as to what the future holds for the Chelsea captain, who will not be allowed to leave until Tuchel brings in defensive reinforcements.
Barcelona have already proven to be a thorn in Chelsea’s side due to their hijacking of a deal for Raphinha, with Kounde now appearing to be in doubt, while Azpilicueta’s future also hangs in the balance.
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