Chelsea to reignite Jules Kounde interest if Sevilla lower demands to €50m - sources

Chelsea are set to revive their interest in Jules Kounde during the January transfer window if Sevilla lower their asking price back to around €50 million, where the two clubs almost found an agreement this summer, sources have told ESPN.

At the start of the summer, Sevilla were insisting any interested clubs had to meet Kounde's €80m buyout clause but that stance softened as the window wore on.

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After having at least two offers rejected -- one of which included Kurt Zouma, who has since joined West Ham United, as part of a player-plus-cash exchange -- Chelsea were close to striking a deal in the region of €50m plus add-ons, as ESPN reported on Aug. 26.

However, the Spanish side suddenly upped their demands and wanted Kounde's buyout clause paid again, with sources having told ESPN Sevilla were in part influenced by Zouma's £25m exit as it meant Chelsea had both increased funds and extra motivation to sign a centre-back.

But the deadline passed without an agreement and, according to ESPN sources, Chelsea were left bemused by Sevilla's approach to negotiations.

Sources told ESPN that Kounde is keen on a move to Stamford Bridge and the 22-year-old is believed to have agreed the framework of a four or five-year contract.

Chelsea remain interested in pursuing an agreement but continue to be reluctant to pay Kounde's €80m buyout clause. They will, however, return in January if there are signs Sevilla are willing to revive negotiations at the reduced figure.