After failing to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla, let’s check three alternatives Chelsea could pursue in the January transfer window.
Chelsea concluded their summer transfer business on Tuesday by signing Saul Niguez on loan from Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish midfielder became the club’s third signing after Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Bettinelli. The trio cost a combined €120 million. Therefore, Chelsea will hope they can aid them in challenging all major honors this season, including the Premier League and Champions League.
But one major signing that slipped from their grasp was Jules Kounde. The French defender was a top target, but Chelsea and Sevilla couldn’t reach a transfer agreement. How this will affect them going forward is unclear, especially as the Blues have already sold Kurt Zouma to West Ham.
Trevoh Chalobah may be around to help fill the void, but Tuchel still wants another defender. So here are three Kounde alternatives the Blues boss could target in January.
Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli
Kalidou Koulibaly is rated as one of Europe’s best central defenders and is at his peak. The 30-year-old has impressed in Serie A with his athleticism, aggression, and ability to play out of defense. He has been regularly linked with a move away from Napoli, so why not Chelsea?
The Senegal international could serve as an ideal short-term solution for the European champions at least.
Niklas Sule – Bayern Munich
Dayot Upamecano’s summer arrival at Bayern Munich initially fueled doubts over Niklas Sule. But while the German has remained a regular under Julian Nagelsmann, his contract still expires next summer. Chelsea, therefore, could sign him on a pre-contract agreement in January for a free transfer in July 2022.
The Blues were reluctant to spend big on Sule this summer, but if they cannot sign Kounde, he wouldn’t be a bad alternative – especially for free.
Pau Torres – Villarreal
The 24-year-old played a vital role in Villarreal’s run to Europa League glory last season, the club’s first major European trophy. He also helped the Yellow Submarines to a 1-1 draw with Chelsea after extra time in the UEFA Super Cup, which the Blues eventually won in a penalty shootout.
Pau Torres’ rise in Spanish football has been impressive, not least through his consistent displays. In fact, the defender was playing in the second division only two years ago. Yet he has become a towering presence in defense, with excellent passing ability and a good eye for the ball. Both Manchester United and Real Madrid have expressed an interest in the past.