Chelsea remain hopeful of reaching an agreement with Sevilla for defender Jules Kounde, as talks continue between the two clubs.
Kounde has a release clause in his contract, and that is understood to have increased from £68m to £77m recently – although that is not a huge problem for Chelsea.
The Blues have never had any desire nor intention to meet the release clause for the Frenchman as a result of financial fair play concerns arising from having to pay the fee in full.
90min revealed earlier this month that Chelsea had approached Sevilla to discuss a deal that would instead see them pay in instalments for the 22-year-old. Los Nervionenses are open to that structure but told Chelsea they would need to come up with a package worth £90m, although negotiations are ongoing over that figure.
While Chelsea don’t want to cough up that amount, sources close to the club have told 90min they are hopeful that a deal can be struck as the two parties are in contact. The west London club and Kounde’s representatives already have the structure of an agreement over his terms, so finalising his contract will not be an issue.
It had been thought that the emergence of Trevoh Chalobah might put paid to Chelsea’s pursuit of the coveted France international, but they have retained their interest in Kounde and both players would be in Thomas Tuchel’s plans until January at least.
Sevilla and Chelsea had been hoping Kurt Zouma could be included in part-exchange but the player rejected the chance to move to Andalusia, although a move to West Ham now seems likely. Another Blues player has been discussed in the shape of Malang Sarr, but he has a number of options abroad and in the Premier League.
With both men likely to depart Stamford Bridge, space would be created for the arrival of another centre-back, with Chalobah remaining too.
Kounde is likely to be Chelsea’s only incoming transfer before the end of the window on 31 August, should they complete the move, although they are one of the teams looking at Rennes starlet Eduardo Camavinga, who is set to leave the Ligue 1 side.