Guehi opens up on decision to leave Chelsea for Crystal Palace
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Chelsea will reignite their interest in Sevilla defender Jules Kounde in January because boss Thomas Tuchel is concerned about his long-term defensive options, according to reports. Kounde was the subject of strong interest from the Blues during the summer transfer window but the La Liga club would not sanction a move.
Tuchel ended up with just the two major arrivals, although the £97.5million acquisition of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan improves the German’s side.
Lukaku returned to Stamford Bridge seven years after leaving for Everton for £30m. Saul Niguez was captured on a season-long loan deal from Atletico Madrid.
Third choice goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli was also signed on a free transfer following his release by Fulham, but Tuchel was keen to sign a new defender.
Kounde was Chelsea’s top target but the club had a couple of bids knocked back by Sevilla before neither side could agree a deal before last Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
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However, the Evening Standard have claimed that Chelsea will go back in for the France international during the winter window as Tuchel is concerned about his defensive options.
It is understood that Kounde was ‘bitterly disappointed’ that a move to the Champions League winners did not happen and reportedly refused to pick up the phone to Sevilla chiefs in the hours after the transfer deadline passed.
Tuchel is facing a couple of issues among his centre-backs. Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger are yet to sign new contracts despite their deals ending in the summer of 2022.
Cesar Azpilicueta recently turned 32 and is beyond his peak. Tuchel also lost defenders Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi for a combined £70m during the summer.
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Christensen has implied that discussions over fresh terms are going well. The 25-year-old has improved significantly under Tuchel’s management.
“I know a lot is being said right now. I can’t say too much, but I think it looks good,” the Dane told Ekstra Bladet while on international duty.
“We have won the Champions League and the Super Cup. I am very happy to be at this club and feel Chelsea are the right place to be in England.
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“I know Thomas Tuchel believes in me. I have also played a big role since he came.”
Chelsea have enjoyed a successful start to the Premier League campaign and are considered title contenders having improved their attacking options with the acquisition of Lukaku.
The Belgian did not score in 15 appearances after arriving for his first spell in 2011.
However, the 28-year-old netted on his debut as Tuchel’s side defeated Arsenal 2-0 last month.
That result is part of an unbeaten opening three matches. There was also a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace and a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Chelsea face Aston Villa after the international break before beginning their defence of the Champions League trophy at home to Zenit St. Petersburg.
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