Chelsea are ‘considering moves for both Jules Kounde and Matthijs de Ligt next year’ as they grow concerned about futures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen
- Chelsea are plotting moves for Jules Kounde and Matthijs de Ligt, say reports
- The Blues wanted to sign Kounde last summer but a move failed to materialise
- De Ligt is a back-up option at Juventus but has been urged to stay in Turin
- Villarreal’s Pau Torres is another name reportedly discussed by Chelsea
Chelsea are considering moves for Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde and Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt as the Blues look to revamp their defensive options, according to reports.
Defensive duo Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are currently set to walk away for free at the end of this season when their contracts expire, though the west Londoners are still negotiating with the pair over new deals.
Chelsea held a strong interest in Sevilla star Kounde last year, though the Blues failed to meet the Spanish club’s £67million asking price before September’s transfer deadline.
Chelsea are reportedly plotting 2022 moves for Jules Kounde (left) and Matthijs De Ligt (right)
The deals of Chelsea duo Andreas Christensen (left) and Antonio Rudiger (right) are expiring
But Eurosport claim that the Blues have shortlisted Kounde alongside De Ligt as potential new centre-back options for next year, while Villarreal’s Pau Torres has also been discussed.
Kounde has kicked on since his move to Chelsea failed through, playing nine times for Sevilla so far this season.
He also helped France lift the Nations League trophy last month with victories over Belgium and Spain in Italy.
De Ligt, meanwhile, has endured a less comfortable season with Juventus, and is currently behind veteran duo Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini’s centre-back pecking order.
Chelsea wanted to sign France international Kounde last summer but failed to complete a deal
Villarreal’s Pau Torres (above) is another name reportedly discussed by Chelsea for next year
The Dutch defender’s future in Turin is in serious doubt, even though he has a contract at Juventus until 2024 – and De Ligt has been urged by team-mate Chiellini to remain at the Allianz Stadium.
‘He looks like Thor and I hope he can be the successor to the BBC (Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini) defence,’ said the veteran defender this week, with Chiellini also putting out a plea to De Ligt’s super-agent Mino Raiola over his future.
‘If he had been Italian, it would’ve been easier to keep hold of him for many years,’ he added. ‘I hope Mino can do us a favour and leave him in Turin for a few more years.
‘He has gigantic muscles and legs, but the real difference is made in his mentality. De Ligt is 22 years old, but has the mind of a 30-year-old who still wants to improve himself every day.
Giorgio Chiellini (right) has urged De Ligt (left), contracted until 2024, to stay at Juventus
‘I adore him, having seen De Ligt both as an opponent and then a teammate. He’s really great.’
Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel has been chasing a new centre-back at Chelsea for some time, with Kounde and PSG captain Marquinhos targeted by the Blues this summer.
Marquinhos recently hinted that Chelsea made an approach for him over the summer, but PSG rejected any prospect of the Brazilian moving away by shutting down talks.
When asked about Chelsea’s interest in him this summer, Marquinhos told Le Parisien: ‘No! It wasn’t even an offer. In fact, the club blocked talks straight away. It shows the faith they have in me.
‘It is an honour for a club like PSG to put such faith in me. The fact that others are interested in me means I am doing well.
Thomas Tuchel’s Blues have been after a new centre-back for some time but to no avail
PSG captain Marquinhos hinted that Chelsea made an approach for him over the summer
‘It gives me the motivation to go on, boost my training sessions and play even better. Paris and PSG are the only things on my mind.’
Tuchel’s European champions, however, have managed to start the season brightly without a new centre-back, with Chelsea currently topping the Premier League table after nine games.
The west Londoners have conceded just three goals since the start of the season, with German head coach Tuchel rotating his defensive options regularly.