Chelsea are prepared to make a late move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde despite the emergence of Trevoh Chalobah, The Telegraph reports.
Chalobah had an excellent pre-season campaign with the Blues, and he has since excelled in his European and Premier League debuts for the club.
This has made him hard to ignore for manager Thomas Tuchel. The German has now decided to keep him rather than loaning him out as planned.
It is added that the club’s hierarchy could now negotiate a new contract with their graduate, who has spent the past three seasons away on loan.
Despite this, the Blues are continuing their pursuit of Kounde, who remains their top central defensive target.
While a centre-back does not appear a necessity anymore, the board are keen to bring the Frenchman to the club to boost their title-winning prospects.
Kounde’s current deal has a €80m release clause. The valuation has reportedly increased to €90m for the final fortnight of the transfer window.
Sevilla are reluctant to accept any part-exchange deals. It has been recently claimed that they could be convinced to sell Kounde for around €70m.
Prior to a late approach, the Blues are keen to recoup funds. Among the current centre-backs, Kurt Zouma appears likely to head for the exit door.