JULES KOUNDE steps up his bid to join Chelsea’s revolution.
Sevilla’s France international defender is determined to play in the Premier League and fill the gap in the Blues’ defence.
American tycoon Todd Boehly has finally been given the green light by the government to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich for £4.25bn.
Kounde, 23, is also convinced he will be the first choice next season following the upheaval in the Blues’ defence.
Central defenders Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen have left on a free transfer.
Chelsea’s Spain captain and right-back Cesar Azpilicueta is also looking to leave after ten years – which will leave a huge void in the defense for boss Thomas Tuchel.
The Boehly-led consortium was approved by No10 and passed the Premier League’s suitability and eligibility test for ownership – paving the way for the completion of the long-awaited acquisition.
It will end a government ban on transfers and free up funding to buy new players, although Chelsea will still have a tough job of meeting their long-standing goal.
Sevilla have vowed to return to hardball and stick to Kounde’s £68million release clause, as they did during the January transfer window.
But the 2020 Europa League winners accept their star centre-back wants a new challenge and talks are planned between Kounde and Sevilla’s sporting director Monchi to find a way out.
Sevilla are adamant they don’t need to sell players as they qualified for next season’s Champions League.
Barcelona are also chasing Kounde and Sevilla would reluctantly do business with a foreign team rather than a direct rival in Spain’s LaLiga.
The transfer window opens on June 10 and Tuchel is keen to start trading as soon as possible in a bid to try and improve on Chelsea’s third-place finish this season.
Abramovich was sanctioned for his ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, which, in addition to an outright ban on player deals, imposed severe financial restrictions on the club.
The government had raised concerns about the possible terms of the deal, particularly in relation to the £1.6billion Abramovich loaned the club during his 19-year reign.
These were eventually overcome by creating a foundation, led by former Unicef UK chief Mike Penrose, to distribute the £2.5 billion in charitable funds to Ukrainian war victims.
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These funds will be frozen in a UK bank account until the government is satisfied that no sanctioned individuals, including Abramovich, will benefit from the sale.
Boehly’s consortium have pledged they will provide the other £1.75bn to help rebuild Stamford Bridge, strengthen the team and further invest in Cobham Academy and the club’s all-conquering women’s team.
Culture Minister Nadine Dorries tweeted: “With the sanctions we have imposed on Putin’s allies and the bloody invasion of Ukraine, the club’s long-term future can only be secured under new ownership.
“We are confident that the proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or any other sanctioned person.
“I would like to thank everyone, especially the officials, who have worked tirelessly to keep the club running and to make this sale possible to protect the fans and the football community at large.”
Sport Minister Nigel Huddleston said he was “confident of a bright future” for Chelsea under the club’s new ownership.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5423081/jules-kounde-join-chelsea-rudiger-christensen-transfer/ Jules Kounde is desperate to join the Chelsea revolution and fill in gaps in the Blues’ defense after Rudiger and Christensen are eliminated