Chelsea transfer news: Blues ‘ready for second centre back’ with Jules Kounde deal close

Todd Boehly’s £4.25 million Chelsea takeover has given head coach Thomas Tuchel the green light for a £200 million refit of his squad this summer.

The Government’s approval of the consortium headed by LA Dodgers part-owner Boehly effectively lifts the Blues out of transfer limbo. With Antonio Rudiger, Thomas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso all heading out of Stamford Bridge, Tuchel intends to move fast to bring in wholesale reinforcements for his depleted defence.

Mirror Football takes a look at all the latest transfer stories coming out of Stamford Bridge as they look to start off their new era…

JULES THE FIRST

Seville centre-back Jules Kounde is expected to be the first signing of the Boehly era in SW6, with a £68 million deal close to agreement. The French international is widely reported to be keen on the move, and to be handed Rudiger’s role as the enforcer in Chelsea’s defence. With the takeover red tape removed, Tuchel is confident of wrapping up a deal with Seville.

CHELSEA FIND ANOTHER JOSE TO LOVE

Another central defender high on Tuchel’s wish-list is Atletico Madrid’s £45 million-rated Uruguayan Jose Gimenez.

The 27-year-old has been with his current club for nine years, and has been a mainstay of Diego Simeone’s impressive back line at the Wanda Metropolitano.







Wanted man: Jose Gimenez
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Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images)

BLUES FACE BATTLE WITH UNITED AND SPURS FOR TORRES

Less certain of a switch to Stamford Bridge, amid keen interest from Tottenham and Manchester United, is Villarreal defender Pau Torres. Spurs had a £42 million bid for the 25-year-old Spanish international accepted last summer, only for the player to opt for another season with the Yellow Submarine because of their Champions League involvement.

According to Spanish outlet Cadena SER, Spurs have tabled a matching bid – but United have joined the bidding with Chelsea, and Torres is believed to be keen on a move to Old Trafford, despite the relative obscurity of Europa League football next season.

TUCHEL MAKES MOVE FOR JOSKO

Croatian centre-back Josko Gvardiol, who has earned rave reviews at Red Bull Leipzig in Germany, is another defender on Tuchel’s radar.






Hot property: Josko Gvardiol

At 20, he is one of the Bundesliga’s most-coveted young defenders, and he would not come cheap because he is under contract until 2026. But after breaking into the Croatian national team last year, Gvardiol is understood to be wary of moving clubs in the countdown to the World Cup in Qatar.

TUCHEL WANTS A STRIKER, TOO

Another Leipzig hot property, £60 million-rated French striker Christopher Nkunku, is one of Tuchel’s prime targets higher up the pitch to go with his platoon of new centre backs.

Nkunku, 24, would provide serious competition for Timo Werner and Kai Havertz on the Blues front line. Tuchel also intends to bring Albanian striker Armando Broja back from his season-long loan at Southampton to compete for first-team football at Chelsea next season.

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