Liverpool have joined Chelsea in the race to sign Jules Kounde but the Premier League duo will have to fork out £70m to land the Sevilla defender, according to reports via the Mirror.
Kounde has forged a reputation as one of the best young centre-backs in European football since joining Sevilla from Bordeaux in 2019 and he’s now an important part of Julen Lopetegui’s starting eleven.
The 23-year-old has already earned 7 caps with the senior French national team having represented his country at various youth levels and his impressive performances have caught the attention of several top tier clubs.
Chelsea have long been linked with a move for Kounde and Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is reportedly still chasing the defender having failed in his attempts to lure the Frenchman to Stamford Bridge last summer.
Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta could all walk away from Chelsea for nothing when their contracts expire at the end of the season so Tuchel is in the market for defensive reinforcements and Kounde remains firmly on his radar.
However, it looks like the German coach will face stiff competition for his signature as the Mirror are citing a report from Marca that claims Liverpool have joined Chelsea in the race to sign to sign Kounde.
The Spanish outlet says the Merseysiders are following Kounde’s progress closely ahead of a potential swoop but the Mirror claims Sevilla’s £70m asking price could prove to be a stumbling block for Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp already has a number of top central defenders at his disposal with Ibrahima Konate signed from RB Leipzig last summer to join Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez on the books.
Therefore, it would be a big surprise if Liverpool splashed around £70m on another centre-back any time soon so Sevilla may have to lower their expectations if Kounde is to end up at Anfield.
We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming months as Kounde is highly unlikely to move until the summer but if these reports are accurate, then it looks like Liverpool and Chelsea are ready to do-battle over his signature.