Chelsea ‘offered Jules Kounde alternative’ by PSG after Barcelona hijack transfer plans

Thomas Tuchel reflects on Chelsea's pre-season defeat to Arsenal

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Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign a new centre-back by Paris Saint-Germain after Barcelona swooped in to derail their pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, according to reports. The Blues initially looked set to land Kounde earlier this week after making solid progress in negotiations with Sevilla but are seemingly poised to lose out to Barcelona, who reached a full agreement over a move for the 23-year-old just a few days ago.

Chelsea are now thought to be on the lookout for alternative targets as Thomas Tuchel aims to improve his defensive ranks between now and the start of the new Premier League season. They have already been contacted by PSG over the possibility of launching a move for Thilo Kehrer, with the French giants actively looking to sell the player over the coming weeks, according to Bild.

It is said that Kehrer is said to be keen on leaving PSG and was recently offered to Chelsea after falling out of favour at the Parc des Princes over the course of last season. The Blues swiftly rebuffed the proposal, though, as they have no interest in bringing the Germany international to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Kehrer is one of several players to have been deemed surplus to requirements by PSG’s hierarchy alongside the likes of Layvin Kurzawa, Idrissa Gueye and Abdou Diallo. However, it seems as though Chelsea have already ruled themselves out of the running to snap him up, with Tuchel set to look elsewhere in his bid to sign a new first-choice defender.

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The Blues are still believed to be in the market for at least one additional centre-back following the capture of long-term target Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli earlier this month. They are believed to have a number of other irons in the fire, which suggests that being pipped to Kounde’s signature by Barcelona would not be a catastrophic blow for those in west London.

Tuchel recently admitted that he is looking for a left-sided central defender to feature in Chelsea’s back three following the departure of Antonio Rudiger, who joined Real Madrid on a free transfer upon the expiry of his previous deal at the end of last season.

“Toni played on the left side and was not a left-footed guy, so maybe Kalidou can play there because he plays in a back-four on the left side, but let’s see what is possible,” the Chelsea boss told reporters.

“It is not only about bringing players in for numbers. We need numbers, we also need quality so we will make some decisions late, not only about players but also about systems. Ideally we would have a left-footer.”

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