Real Madrid are said to be considering a late swoop to sign Chelsea target Jules Kounde.
Chelsea are interested in signing Kounde this summer as the west London side look to strengthen at centre-back, though a deal for the France international is dependent on a senior centre-back option leaving Stamford Bridge before the closure of the transfer window.
Thomas Tuchel’s side could now face strong competition for the Sevilla defender from Real Madrid, who are considering a move for the 22-year-old following the ‘unforeseen’ departures of both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
The Spanish giants have signed David Alaba on a free transfer from Bayern Munich, though AS are reporting that Los Blancos are considering both Kounde and Villarreal’s Pau Torres as a potential partner to the summer signing.
However, both deals appear complicated given the club’s current resources, with Sevilla under no pressure to sell Kounde – who has a release clause of €80m (£68m) – after boosting their finances with the sale of Bryan Gil to Tottenham.
The situation is similar with Torres, though the Spain international’s release clause of €65m is lower than that of Chelsea target Kounde.
The report says Real’s ‘first option’ is not to sign a defender as they await to see if Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe becomes available towards the end of the window.
Mbappe has entered the final season of his contract at PSG and is yet to agree a new deal, and the seemingly imminent arrival of Lionel Messi has raised the possibility that he could be sold as opposed to losing one of world football’s most valuable assets on a free transfer next summer.
If Mbappe does however remain in the French capital for the upcoming season, Real Madrid could then make a move to bolster their backline.