Chelsea are inching closer to closing a deal for Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, according to reports.
The Blues finalized the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly last weekend and have been looking to add another defender to their roster.
Thomas Tuchel has lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen this summer, and César Azpilicueta can still leave before the transfer window closes in early September.
chelsea (opens in a new tab) they are longtime fans of Kounde, whom they tried to acquire last summer.
They couldn’t come to an agreement a year ago, but now they are closing in on the France international.
Sun (opens in a new tab) writes that they have already reached an agreement with Sevilla (opens in a new tab) that would see Kounde change clubs for a fee of £55m.
The defender will have a medical in the next 48 hours and could even join Chelsea on their pre-season tour of the United States.
He has already had talks with Tuchel, who will be delighted to close this deal.
Chelsea faced competition over the signing of Koundé from Barcelona (opens in a new tab)but the Blues had the upper hand in one key respect.
The La Liga side need to sell before they can buy and could not satisfy Sevilla’s preference for a cash-only deal.
And while the deal may not be officially finalized until early next week, Chelsea appear to have landed their man.
Kounde and Koulibaly are likely to be regular starters in a revamped backline this season.
In the meantime, Sun (opens in a new tab) reports that Chelsea have identified their ideal replacement for Azpilicueta should the Spaniard leave.
RB Leipzig (opens in a new tab)Josko Gvardiol’s player is the man Tuchel wants, although the 20-year-old is more center-back than right-back.
Azpilicueta has played both positions throughout his time at Stamford Bridge, which could come to an end after a 10-year spell in the coming weeks.
Barcelona is at the front of the queue to sign him.