Sevilla Sporting director Monchi has confirmed rumours that Chelsea did have a deal in place for Jules Kounde but then stepped out of the race after doubts arose over the defender’s profile. The 23-year-old looked set to sign for the London side but has been announced as a Barcelona player now.
Having lost both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen this summer, reports have indicated that Chelsea have been planning another spending spree to reinforce their defence. That has already started with moves for Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling already confirmed but the Blues are still targeting a few more players before the summer window ends. However, that included a move for Jules Kounde as the defender was at the top of their shortlist although the plan changed.
It saw Chelsea step out of the race and that allowed Barcelona to take charge and sign the French defender for a fee that could rise up to €60 million. But in light of that, Monchi admitted that Chelsea were the frontrunners for most of the summer and even had a deal in place but stepped out after “doubts appeared, not about the player’s ability but about his profile”. The Sevilla sporting director further revealed that after they stepped out, Chelsea wanted back in but Barcelona had already got a deal over the line by then.
“Earlier in the summer, there were more clubs interested, but by last week the only club was Chelsea. Last Thursday, we had a verbal agreement with Chelsea, and Chelsea had an agreement with the player. The player was sold to Chelsea, it was all agreed,” Monchi said, reported the Athletic.
“But then doubts appeared, not about the player’s quality, but about his profile, whether they preferred a different type of player. Barca only appeared for the first time at the weekend, the first time I spoke to Mateu Alemany (Barcelona's director of football) was on Monday. Chelsea wanted to come back, but Barca’s offer was higher, and the player now wanted to go there.”