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Thomas Tuchel ‘closes in’ on first Chelsea signing of Todd Boehly era


Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel are pushing for the signing of Jules Kounde, who is keen to leave Sevilla and head to the Premier League, as the Blues look to address their defensive options

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Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Jules Kounde with the defender keen on a switch to Stamford Bridge, as per reports.

The Blues were hoping to add the Sevilla centre-half last term but eventually missed out on him. Now they have reignited their interest as Thomas Tuchel looks to begin his summer spending ahead of Todd Boehly’s takeover in west London. A defensive exodus has increased Chelsea’s need to bolster their options and they are set to act quickly.

Kounde himself is desperate to move to the Premier League, reports The Sun, and believes he would be first choice in the club’s backline. That is due to the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen – both of whom are out of contract. Sanctions placed upon the Blues prevented them from negotiating new deals with their players.

Sevilla are ready to hold out for the £68m release clause in the Frenchman’s contract. However they accept that the centre-half is looking to take on a fresh challenge and talks with sporting director Monchi are planned so that the two parties can find a solution.

The LaLiga outfit qualified for the Champions League so are under no intense pressure to sell their top players. However, with Kounde’s exit seemingly inevitable, they would rather sell to an overseas club as opposed to a domestic rival with Barcelona also among those keen.

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Chelsea and Tuchel could lose Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta in the coming months. The former is being linked with a return to Spain whilst the club’s captain is considering his own future. It would leaves the Blues with experienced head Thiago Silva alongside youngsters like Trevoh Chalobah.

Jules Kounde is keen on a move to Chelsea
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Getty Images)

Prospective new owner Boehly, who is closing in on his purchase of the club, has handed Tuchel a £200m kitty as he seeks to make an immediate impact at Stamford Bridge. The American, who also co-owns MLB franchise the LA Dodgers, will takeover from Roman Abramovich. Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said he was “confident of a bright future” for Chelsea under the club’s new owners.

A government spokesman said on the sale of the club: “Late last night (Tuesday) the UK Government reached a position where we could issue a licence that permits the sale of Chelsea Football Club. Following the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich, the Government has worked hard to ensure Chelsea Football Club has been able to continue to play football.

“But we have always been clear that the long-term future of the club could only be secured under a new owner. Following extensive work, we are now satisfied that the full proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or any other sanctioned individual.”

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