Chelsea have agreed a five-year contract with Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde and are in advanced talks with the Andalusian club over a possible swap deal involving Kurt Zouma.
Kounde has been on the radar of a number of top clubs, including Real Madrid and Manchester United, since he won the Europa League with Sevilla in 2020.
Chelsea, meanwhile, had been primarily targeting a new striker ahead of the new season, but the Blues have spied an opportunity to move quickly for Kounde and secure the signature of a rising star who will improve their back line both now and for the long-term.
It was reported early on Tuesday afternoon that talks over a deal for Kounde had begun and Chelsea have seemingly wasted little time in accelerating their pursuit of the 22-year-old talent.
Only a few hours later, journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed that a five-year contract and personal terms have been agreed with Kounde until 2026 and talks between the clubs are now thought to have moved on to negotiating the exact transfer fee, hitting the ‘advanced’ stage.
It is suggested that a deal isn’t far away and that existing Chelsea centre-back Zouma could be included in part-exchange in addition to Sevilla being paid a cash sum.
Zouma was in and out of the Chelsea team under Thomas Tuchel in the second half of last season, having previously been a regular starter for former manager Frank Lampard before Christmas.
Should the part-exchange deal be agreed, it would leave Tuchel with Kounde, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva as his senior centre-back options for the coming season.
Kounde is believed to be particularly keen on playing for a club in the Champions League, which was the primary reason given when he was reported to have rejected the chance to explore interest from Tottenham earlier this month.