Chelsea have made a major decision to call off their pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, according to the latest reports.
The Blues have been strongly linked with a move for the French international all summer, but they’ve struggled to agree on a fee with the La Liga club, who want to get good value for money for their most prized defender.
According to The Athletic, a verbal agreement on a fee for the defender was in place, but the Spanish side have now raised their asking price by €15million, meaning Chelsea have walked away from negotiations.
Chelsea’s situation is strikingly similar to when Manchester City tried to sign Kounde back in last summer’s transfer window.
The French defender was wanted by City before they paid a club-record fee for Ruben Dias of Benfica – a signing that has proven to be value for money after the Portuguese won the Premier League Player of the Year award. He was also named the UEFA defender of the Year last week.
Although City made a huge offer for Kounde, Sevilla’s director of football, Monchi, said at the time that the bid didn’t consider the now 22-year-old’s future value, which is probably why they’re so reluctant to get €80m (£68.6m) for his sale.
Speaking to El Desmarque in November 2020, Monchi said: “We felt or did what we thought was fair and in defence of the interests of the club, also in an ambitious way, because many people would have chosen to accept that offer.
“We value pros and cons and believe in the player, that has been key. We believe in the projection of a 21-year-old boy with a lot of ground to make up.
“Despite being a magnificent offer, very very good, it did not satisfy the requests or what we thought of the player.
“Perhaps it was not what he was worth, because possibly that offer was close to what he was worth at that moment; also we have to think about what he can be worth.”
So, it’s clear that if Chelsea wish to sign their number one defensive target before tomorrow’s 11pm deadline, they’ll need to make an offer that considers how much he could eventually be worth in the market, if Monchi’s stance remains the same.