Chelsea stumble in race to sign Jules Kounde after Blues outcast Kurt Zouma ‘rejects West Ham transfer’

CHELSEA'S hopes of signing Sevilla star Jules Kounde received a blow after Kurt Zouma rejected a transfer to West Ham.

Kounde, 22, has been on Chelsea's radar for much of the summer with the Blues trying to negotiate a deal for the defender.

The France star has a release clause of £68million but Chelsea are refusing to activate it.

And with Sevilla standing firm Chelsea are looking to sell Zouma, 26, to raise funds and make space in the squad for Kounde.

West Ham had held talks over a move for Zouma but the Frenchman has indicated that he does not want to move across London, according to The Guardian.

The Hammers could now switch their focus to Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic.

Chelsea even offered Sevilla £30m plus Zouma in exchange for Kounde.

Sevilla turned down the bid as they do not believe Zouma is worth £30m, partly because of uncertainty surrounding his resale value.

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The La Liga club are under no pressure to let Kounde go after selling Bryan Gil to Tottenham for £22m plus Erik Lamela.

Kounde also has three years remaining on his contract, which expires in June 2024.

Manchester United and Real Madrid were also linked with a move for Kounde so Sevilla could wait to see how the transfer battle unfolds.

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