Chelsea’s bid to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla has stalled following Kurt Zouma’s refusal to sign for West Ham.
Chelsea want to sign the France international from Sevilla but need to make room in their squad with the departure of a senior centre-back, with the west London club having initially offered Zouma in part-exchange for Kounde.
Sevilla’s disagreement over Zouma’s value and desire for a fee closer to their €60m valuation of Kounde saw negotiations stall, though West Ham’s interest in the player presented another chance for Chelsea to raise funds and free squad space.
However, the Guardian are reporting that Zouma has indicated to West Ham that he has no desire to move across the capital and the Hammers are set to switch to alternative targets, with Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic on the club’s radar.
Chelsea currently have four senior centre-backs – Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Zouma – whilst both Cesar Azplilicueta and Reece James have operated in the Blues’ preferred back three system.
Zouma’s stance could now hinder Chelsea’s ability to secure a deal for Kounde before the transfer window closes with the club also interested in sealing a record-breaking move for Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku.
Chelsea are understood to have approached Sevilla about their potential interest in signing Kenedy and Emerson Palmieri as part of an exchange deal.