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Tuchel confirms Chelsea tried to sign Kounde before transfer window closed

22:30 BST 10/09/2021
Kounde Chelsea GFX
The Blues ultimately fell short in their pursuit of Sevilla's France international, but did sign Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has confirmed his side aimed to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde prior to the close of the summer transfer window.

The Blues ultimately failed to prise the 22-year-old away from Sevilla, with the Liga side holding on to their highly-rated France international.

Chelsea did manage one deadline-day addition from Spain, signing Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid on loan.

What has been said?

"It was clear we tried for Kounde and Saul and it was very, very late but it was a very, very smooth transfer window because I had full concentration on training and on my team," Tuchel said.

"The amount of support of (technical and performance advisor) Petr Cech as a link, and together with Marina [Granovskaia, Chelsea director], was fantastic, so it was pretty relaxed with a good outcome because in the end it was possible to add Saul into the group, which was a key position for us to have more alternatives and to not put all the pressure on the three guys' shoulders.

"So there's a lot of competition now going on and it's my job to be a good moderator."

Why didn't Chelsea sign Kounde?

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui has said that interested clubs did not meet his side's valuation of his star defender.

“Kounde in the end has stayed because the club has decided that it was the right thing to do based on the evaluation of the offers they may have had,” he told Diario de Sevilla.

Sevilla sporting director Monchi said last week that Kounde would only leave if an interested club paid his €80 million (£68m/$95m) release clause.

Chelsea could return with another bid for Kounde in the winter or next summer, with the defender's current contract set to expire in 2024.

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