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Tuchel confirms Chelsea tried to sign Kounde

Jules Kounde, Sevilla
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The Blues boss has confirmed attempts to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde before the summer transfer window closed.

Thomas Tuchel has revealed Chelsea made a ‘very, very late’ attempt to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla.

The 22-year-old defender became a priority for Chelsea following Romelu Lukaku’s return. Tuchel felt Kounde fitted the bill as the right-sided defender he wanted. Talks with Sevilla, however, ended on an unsuccessful note, although the Blues did sign another La Liga star in Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid on loan.

“It was clear we tried for Kounde and Saul and it was very, very late but it was a very, very smooth transfer window because I had full concentration on training and on my team,” said Tuchel as per Goal.

“The amount of support of [technical and performance advisor] Petr Cech as a link, and together with Marina [Granovskaia, Chelsea director], was fantastic, so it was pretty relaxed with a good outcome because in the end, it was possible to add Saul into the group, which was a key position for us to have more alternatives and to not put all the pressure on the three guys’ shoulders.

“So there’s a lot of competition now going on and it’s my job to be a good moderator.”

How did the Kounde deal fall apart?

After initial contact earlier this summer, Chelsea resumed talks with Sevilla after signing a new forward in Lukaku.

The two clubs, however, could not come to an agreement. Sevilla turned down Chelsea’s initial offer, intent on getting the full amount of Kounde’s €80 million release clause. The club’s director of football, Monchi, confirmed they sent a counter-offer to the Blues, but hadn’t heard back before the transfer window closed.

Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui has also stated Chelsea failed to match the club’s valuation of Kounde.

Tuchel’s side could revisit their interest in the France international in January or perhaps seek an alternative defender instead.