How the turntables: Chelsea set to close the signing of Barcelona target
After 48 hours of rampant speculation, uncertainty and confusion, the Jules Kounde saga appears to be nearing a conclusion, with Chelsea emerging as the winner in this contest.
Earlier this week, the Premier League giants had reached an agreement with Sevilla over the Frenchman. They were willing to shell out €65 million for the player while offering Kounde an eye-catching salary of €12 million per season.
Such a lucrative offer put Barcelona in the back seat, paving the way for Chelsea to take the lead. The defender was even expected to travel to London today to complete his medical at Stamford Bridge.
However, Barcelona had played a key role in convincing Kounde to revert his decision to not train with the Sevilla team in Portugal. The defender informed the club of his desire to train, which fueled speculation of a late intervention from the Catalans, yet again.
But it appears Chelsea have now emerged as the undisputed favourites in the race to sign Kounde and the deal could be imminent, as per Cristobal Soria of El Chiringuito.
The Premier League giants have tabled an offer too good to refuse, not just for Sevilla but for Kounde as well. Unlike Raphinha, the Frenchman holds Chelsea in high esteem and was open to joining the club all summer.
Although the young defender was certainly favouring a move to Barcelona, the Catalans are simply not in a position to even come near the €12 million offered by Chelsea. This might play a key role in turning the tide back in favour of the Blues.
The Premier League giants will be delighted to have triumphed in the contest, especially after being humiliated in the Raphinha chase roughly a week ago.
However, with the deal far from official, it will be interesting to see if there are any late twists and turns in this Jules Kounde saga. The next 24 hours could be decisive.