Chelsea have just one stumbling block preventing their move for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde now that Kurt Zouma seems set to join West Ham, according to reports.
Kounde’s £42.8m move to Stamford Bridge partially relied on Zouma agreeing to move to the Premier League side.
It is believed that Zouma’s demands initially made a transfer to West Ham difficult but negotiations have since progressed positively. A medical in Paris is now scheduled.
That has allowed Chelsea to crack ahead with their plans to sign Kounde from Sevilla.
A fee has been agreed with Sevilla but there is one obstacle that Chelsea must overcome to bring the 22-year-old to West London.
According to ESPN, the two clubs are still deciding how the £42.8m fee will be paid, with Sevilla demanding that most of it be paid up front.
Kounde made 34 La Liga appearances last season and has made a further two this term. His form earned him a call-up to France’s Euro 2020 squad and he made his debut in their tournament warm-up friendly versus Wales.
There is some uncertainty over the future of a couple of Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel’s centre-backs. Kounde would therefore be a welcome addition.
Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger have both entered the final year of their contracts and new deals are yet to be finalised.
The emergence of academy graduate Trevoh Chalobah has not persuaded Tuchel that he does not need another defender.
Romelu Lukaku is Chelsea’s only summer arrival so far, being re-signed in a £97.5m deal from Inter Milan.
Speaking after the Blues’ 2-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday, Tuchel opened up on the possibility of more signings.
He suggested that additions could be possible, insisting that Chelsea do not have the biggest squad in the Premier League.
“I am absolutely happy with our squad and the alternatives we have,” he said.
“It’s not too big a squad, we were missing Christian Pulisic today and that meant everybody else was in the squad.
“That means we maybe don’t have the biggest squad but that we have a very competitive squad in all positions.
“This, on one hand, is necessary because we play a lot of competitions and we play the World Club Cup in December.
“We also played very long last season and there was the Euros and Copa America.
“So if we want to compete we need this level. But at the same time, it’s also important we’re a strong group, this was maybe the key for the last half a year. We played with a strong bond and a great team spirit.
“This is a challenge for the team and for me to create this atmosphere again. And that everybody is ready to take hard decisions and keep pushing the team.
“If we do this we can achieve more than we have.”