Chelsea are the main suitors for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde ahead of the summer transfer window, according to La Colina de Nervion.
The Blues were fancied to sign the France international last summer, but were unable to negotiate a suitable fee with Sevilla before the transfer deadline.
The La Liga outfit were reluctant to accept anything less than the €80 million (£68.5m) release clause on his contract, but the defender could now be available for less.
According to La Colina de Nervion, the centre-back was convinced to stay last summer, and it may not be the case this time after a disappointing season in Europe.
Newcastle United and Manchester United have been linked with him, but Chelsea are still the ‘main suitors’ for the defender, having previously agreed ‘personal terms’.
If Kounde were to leave this summer, Sevilla are set to hold out for at least €60 million (£51.4m).
Chelsea are on the cusp of a takeover from Todd Boehly’s consortium and this should put an end to the sanctions that prevent them from negotiating player deals.
The Blues may prioritise new contracts for top-performing players, but it also appears likely that they could spend on a couple of new central defenders this summer.
It has already been confirmed that Antonio Rudiger will leave on a free transfer when his contract expires on June 30. Andreas Christensen looks set for the same path.
Kounde would be a quality acquisition to fill the void left by one of them. The Frenchman has been one of La Liga’s best-performing centre-backs over the past few years.
The 23-year-old is not a tough tackler, but has caught the eye with his excellent concentration skills. He has managed nearly three clearances per game this season.
Meanwhile, Kounde is not the tallest of defenders at 5ft 10, but has an incredible leap in the air. He has won an impressive 2.4 aerial duels per appearance this term.
Hence, it appears a no-brainer for Chelsea to pursue him, having come on the cusp of landing him last summer. A deal should go through with the reduced asking price.