Chelsea have reportedly ended their pursuit of Jules Kounde after Sevilla increased their asking price for the defender.
Kounde has been Chelsea‘s leading defensive target during the summer transfer window and the west Londoners believed they had a ‘verbal agreement’ with the Spanish side over the signing of the centre-back.
However, The Athletic are reporting that Chelsea have now withdrawn their interest and a deal is not expected to be resurrected unless Sevilla lower their demands.
Sevilla are now understood to be demanding around €15 million (£12.8m) more than the original asking price, a figure that Chelsea are unwilling to meet before the transfer deadline tomorrow.
The deal has been complicated by Sevilla’s difficulty in finding a replacement, having deemed a move for Lille centre-back Sven Botman too expensive.
Chelsea sold Kurt Zouma to West Ham in a £29.8m deal over the weekend, but remain well-stocked at centre-back with Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta forming the senior options in Thomas Tuchel’s back three system.
The emergence of Trevoh Chalobah also provides a new option in central defence, with the defender having impressed since returning from a loan spell at Lorient last season.
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