Chelsea are reported to be increasingly hopeful of securing the signing of Jules Kounde before the transfer window closes, despite Thomas Tuchel seemingly performing a U-turn on a deal for the Sevilla star, informs the TeamTalk.
The Blues smashed their club-record transfer fee when bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge for £97.5m. And Tuchel admits the presence of the Belgian has heaped the pressure on his shoulders to keep delivering trophies for Chelsea.
After landing Lukaku, Chelsea are firmly expected to be in the title mix. However, Tuchel is well aware about how being the Premier League’s biggest spenders comes with an added burden.
That was a pitfall that befell Frank Lampard last season. Having spent upwards of £150m, he suddenly found himself under even more pressure to deliver the goods. And when results dropped off, his future was firmly placed under the spotlight.
The record of spending the most in the Premier League this summer currently falls on Arsenal. Man City (Jack Grealish), Man Utd (Jadon Sancho) and Chelsea (Lukaku) have all shelled out big fees on players.
However, the Gunners are the top spenders so far. They’ve laid out more than £125m with Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard all arriving.
But should the Blues land Kounde, that mantle will switch firmly back on the Blues.
Widespread reports suggest Tuchel is looking to such a transfer stat. Furthermore, the German is now understood to believe Chelsea no longer need Kounde.
And the emergence of Trevor Chalobah has played a big role in Tuchel’s change of mind. Indeed, he reportedly believes the 22-year-old’s emergence has ended their need to sign Kounde and wants to reward the academy graduate with a new deal.
Nonetheless, according to Saturday’s edition of AS, Chelsea are ready to push ahead with a move for Kounde.
The French international, 22, reportedly holds a £77m release clause within his contract. That figure had been £68m, though the Daily Star reported it had increased after entering the final fortnight of the window.
Chelsea are understood to already have an agreement in place over personal terms. The issue remains the transfer fee with Sevilla reluctant to sell for less than Kounde’s release fee.
The Spanish outlet claims Blues director Marina Granovskaia will continue talks with Sevilla to thrash out a deal.
As such, there appears a growing confidence in Spain that a deal for Kounde will go through before the window shuts.
Tuchel, meanwhile, used his press conference on Friday to explain why he will continue offering chances to the best of Chelsea’s young stars.
“We will never stop using them,” he said. “Chalobah plays alongside Reece James and Mason Mount, that’s how it should be. That’s what we want, what everyone likes: a mix of footballers – famous foreigners and talented academy players.”