Chelsea to return for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde in January

After seeing their move for Jules Kounde break down in the January transfer window, Chelsea could reportedly be set to try again.

According to ESPN, the Blues would be interested in making a move for the Frenchman but only if Sevilla lower their demands to €50 (£42m).

The Premier League side are willing to do business if Sevilla agrees to reduce their asking price, as the Blues are prepared to part with €50 million for the French defender.

It started as a promising pursuit from Chelsea as they viewed Jules Kounde as the perfect player to strengthen their defence. Thomas Tuchel was keen on signing a versatile centre-back capable of covering at right-back, and the Sevilla star fits the bill nicely.

While the Spanish club initially demanded interested parties to pay Kounde’s massive €80 million release clause, they eventually lowered a stance. Chelsea reportedly had a verbal agreement over a fee of €50 million-plus add ons, and the Frenchman looked primed for a move to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea seemingly ceded their interest and had hoped for a last-minute change of heart from the Spanish side to complete a late transfer before deadline day. A move never materialised, as Kounde remained at Sevilla, and the Blues are £30 million richer and a man short after Zouma’s move to West Ham United.

The Premier League club have continued monitoring Kounde ever since, hoping to make a splash next summer. However, they could sign the Frenchman in January if Sevilla lower their asking price and take the €50 million they previously agreed to.

Kounde has three years left on his deal, and Chelsea’s increasing interest in him will probably tempt Sevilla to hold their ground. After some decent sales this summer, the Spanish side are not desperate to generate more funds, not particularly by letting one of their top stars leave for a discount.

Chelsea will attempt to persuade the La Liga club in January and might have the upper hand with Kounde himself keen on joining the Blues. Only the winter window will provide answers if Kounde moves the ship to England or remains in Spain.