Chelsea have begun the season in impressive fashion with two wins and a draw from a tough opening set of fixtures.
While their 100% record did come to an end at Liverpool, the 1-1 draw Thomas Tuchel’s side secured while down to 10 men against Jurgen Klopp’s side was arguably more impressive than their 3-0 and 2-0 victories against Crystal Palace and Arsenal respectively.
Many coaches and players would likely be casting a jealous eye over to Stamford Bridge and Chelsea ’s Cobham training ground.
One player who is certainly feeling the Blues is Sevilla central defender Jules Kounde, who is reportedly ignoring calls from his manager Julen Lopetegui and director of football Monchi.
This was reported by the Spanish Football Podcast who claim Kounde was “furious” after Sevilla rejected a £43m bid for his services, and has since been ignoring phone calls from manager Julen Lopetegui and sporting director Monchi.
The six-time UEFA Cup champions were demanding a fee of around £68.5m for the 22-year-old who was once labelled as “The best defender in the world right now” by Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.
Despite selling Kounde’s fellow defender and French national team colleague Kurt Zouma to West Ham United for £30m, the West Londoners walked away from the deal and did not table another offer.
Monchi has interestingly been very open about the transfer saga, confirming many clubs wanted Kounde, but Chelsea was the club he had set his heart on.
‘Most of [the approaches were] rejected by the player himself but there was a club that he liked, which was Chelsea,’ he said earlier this week.
‘I spoke to the player’s agent some time ago because the more time that passed, the more difficult it would be for him to leave.”
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Emanating reports detailing Chelsea’s interest in the young defender initially appeared in July when ESPN reported the Blues had entered negotiations about a possible move for Kounde.
However, Monchi has appeared to refute these reports; claiming the Blues did not submit an official offer for Kounde until late August.
“The first and only formal offer was last Wednesday, around five in the afternoon, with an amount that did not satisfy our desires and conditional on Chelsea selling a player,” Monchi said after the transfer window closed.
‘It was an important offer, considering the current world where there are so many hardships, but it did not meet our demands, conditions, or quantities.
‘We responded with a counter-offer with a deadline of last Friday night (the 27th) and they have not responded. Since then, there has been no contact. Chelsea’s formal offer, Sevilla’s formal response, but nothing else.’
Chelsea was confident they had agreed a £43m fee for the Sevilla defender, and were only waiting for the completion of Kurt Zouma’s move to West Ham.
However, Sevilla reportedly changed their mind on the offer right at the death; demanding the Blues to instead pay his release clause of £68.5m.
“Chelsea agreed that they were not going to pay the full release clause – and Sevilla were happy, at the beginning, with £50m. That’s certainly what Chelsea thought,” French football expert Julien Laurens said to TalkSPORT.
“Suddenly, Sevilla thought, ‘He’s worth more than that, give us £65m or £70m!’
Kounde’s frustrating week got even worse in France’s World Cup qualifier against Bosnia.
The promising defender made an uncharacteristically rash and dangerous tackle, resulting in a straight red card, in Les Bleus’ 1-1 draw against Bosnia.