CHELSEA have reportedly been given a free run at signing Jules Kounde.
That’s because Barcelona are unable to meet Sevilla’s £65million asking price.
The LaLiga giants are already set to snap up Andreas Christensen on a free transfer from Chelsea.
But Marca claims Xavi Hernandez is also keen on signing Kounde to create a new defensive partnership.
The Frenchman has become one of Europe’s top centre-backs after some fine performances for club and country.
And Sevilla feel Kounde should be selling for around £65m this summer.
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However, broke Barcelona do not have that kind of money lying around.
And that opens the door for Chelsea to finally completely a highly-anticipated deal.
It’s reckoned Kounde has already agreed a five-year contract to join Thomas Tuchel’s world champions.
But the Blues are yet to agree a figure with Sevilla after being priced out of a deal last summer.
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Yet with Barcelona seemingly out of the picture, Chelsea can enter negotiations confident they are the only club left in the running.
Newcastle had also been linked with a shock swoop for Kounde this month.
But the ace is determined to play in the Champions League and would not consider a move to St James’ Park.
Kounde has been with Sevilla for three years after joining from Bordeaux.
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He has made 133 appearances for the Spaniards.
And Kounde was part of the side which won the Europa League in 2020.
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