Chelsea to make Jules Kounde transfer move but prioritising talks over future of five stars including Lukaku and Mount

CHELSEA are reportedly still eyeing Seville defender Jules Kounde – but want to tie down some of their own players first.

The Blues are bound to make moves for centre-halves this summer, with Antonio Rudiger joining Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen likely to join Barcelona.

According to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Kounde is likely to be one of the names on the list.

Speaking on the on the Wondergoal Podcast, he said: "One of the names again will be Jules Kounde from Sevilla.

"He has a release clause for €80 million but from Sevilla they're really tough in the negotiations. So, it's not going to be an easy one.

"They wanted him for Chelsea, last summer, and it was a complicated negotiation. But I'm told he's still a name in the list for Chelsea.

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"Let's see what will happen in these negotiations, but the message will be 'we can't lose players in the same position on a free again, as it happened with Rudiger and Christensen'."

Chelsea's £4.25billion takeover is due to be completed, with Todd Boehly taking the reins from Roman Abramovich.

And once this has been done, priority will be to ensure the club don't lose other players on free transfers.

The likes of Mason Mount, N'Golo Kante and Jorginho are all out of contract next summer.

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Romano continued: "The priority for Chelsea, for the new owners, will be to clarify the situations of many players they have already at the club.

"They are waiting to have final answers from Chelsea since long time.

"Mason Mount, in September, he had some verbal conversations. Still no contract on the table from Chelsea but they told him, 'we want to extend your contract on a long term', and, still nothing discussed then."

"He's waiting for the new owners to come in and to tell him, 'okay, let's discuss a new deal'."

"Another name, N'Golo Kante. He's out of contract in June 2023, so it's a dangerous situation for Chelsea because many clubs are already exploring this possibility for next summer.

"But he was waiting the day after the Champions League final, last summer, and they told him, we'll negotiate a new deal and then it didn't happen yet."

"Kante, Mason Mount, Jorginho out of contract next summer, he wants to clarify with Chelsea if they want to trust him for the future or he will be ready to leave the club this summer.

"Marcos Alonso wants to go back to Spain with Barcelona interested. So there are many things to clarify.

"And then the strikers. Romelu Lukaku wants to have a direct conversation with Thomas Tuchel to understand what's the plan for him, next summer.

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"Christian Pulisic is the same. He wants to make sure that they trust him at the club and they will play him because he needs to play, he wants to play.

"So, all these players are waiting for the new owners to have conversations with them, for Thomas Tuchel to clarify what is the plan with them."

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