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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Didier Deschamps confirms Jules Kounde blow as Thomas Tuchel dealt tough £69m transfer decision

  France boss Didier Deschamps has confirmed that Chelsea transfer target Jules Kounde will undergo surgery after sustaining a hamstring ...


France boss Didier Deschamps has confirmed that Chelsea transfer target Jules Kounde will undergo surgery after sustaining a hamstring injury against Croatia. It's believed that the procedure has been a long time coming, with the problem dating back 'several months.'

The 23-year-old is also said to have played through the injury before being pulled at half-time during the fourth and final instalment of UEFA Nations League fixtures. He registered his 55th appearance of the season across all competitions with a start against Croatia in what has been an impressive campaign that has further courted Chelsea's interest.

While Kounde 's return date is currently unknown, his injury will come as a massive blow to the defender who looked primed for a move to Stamford Bridge. Speaking to Foot Mercato after Les Bleus' 1-0 loss to Croatia, Deschamps confirmed the proposed operation:

"I know very well his athletic condition today. Tomorrow, he will have an intervention (surgical) because he has a problem that dates from several months ago."

Last month, Kounde, who has been heavily linked with a move to west London this summer, was pictured with a fan in London. Coincidentally or not, the defender's appearance fell correlated with reports claiming that groundwork has been put in place to sign the Frenchman once sanctions on Chelsea are lifted. understands that Kounde is the west London club's priority following the takeover completed by the American-led consortium spearheaded by Todd Boehly. The Sevilla defender is keen on moving to the Blues, almost 12 months after his proposed switch to Stamford Bridge collapsed at the final hurdle.

There is a growing expectation that Chelsea will get the Kounde deal over the line this time around . The Blues were linked with him ahead of the season and were understood to have agreed a deal worth around £43million, according to The Athletic.

However, the subsequent sale of Kurt Zouma to West Ham reportedly saw Sevilla's sporting director, Monchi, increase the asking price to £69million, to which Chelsea then halted their pursuit. The west Londoners have since reignited their intent to sign Kounde, though his latest injury concern could throw a spanner in the works.

But, regardless of whether Chelsea sign the Sevilla stalwart, Tuchel is said to be in the market for new defenders this summer following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

 And, the club's new ownership group, who agreed to a £4.25billion deal to buy the Blues, is expected to 'push for A-list signings' to mark a new era at Stamford Bridge, according to the MailOnline.

As a result, Tuchel is plotting a rebuild of his backline this summer. Speaking to , the Blues boss said:

"We are rebuilding, not improving the squad. We are rebuilding. This is always challenging, but we are up for the challenge.

"I don't know where we are from day one. What I can promise is that I will be here – if I can promise that – I will be here with full energy and positive energy no matter what. We will still work for Chelsea, and I refuse to think of negative scenarios. We will be competitive, on which level we will see."

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