Chelsea look set to miss out on the singing of Sevilla ace Jules Kounde after the Frenchman agreed personal terms with Barcelona over a move to the Camp Nou.
The 23-year-old was desperate to join the Blues last summer but Chelsea refused to activate a £67m release clause in his contract, which was Sevilla’s asking price.
Chelsea have maintained their interest in the last 12 months and they’d been expected to reignite a move for Kounde this summer, particularly after the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.
But Gerard Romero – who broke news of Christensen’s move to Barcelona – says the Catalans have now won the race for Kounde too.
It’s claimed Kounde has agreed a salary and contract with Barcelona and all that remains is for the Spaniards to agree a fee with Sevilla.
Barcelona’s financial problems means they can’t activate Kounde’s release clause but they’ll attempt to include a player to bring down the price.
Memphis Depay could be offered to Sevilla, with the club in need of an attacker after Anthony Martial’s departure.
Chelsea are closing in on a move for Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, with the Blues prepared to pay up to £40m for the Senegal ace.
Thomas Tuchel wants at least one centre-back this summer and it remains to be seen if they will attempt to rival Barcelona for Kounde’s signature.
The Blues will reluctantly allow Cesar Azpilicueta to leave Stamford Bridge, though they want to recoup the £7m they paid for him a decade ago.
The Spaniard has agreed a two-year deal to join Barcelona.