Thomas Tuchel wants another central defender this summer after signing Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli; total agreement for Jules Kounde not yet reached but Chelsea are in talks with Sevilla; Kounde has joined up with Sevilla's pre-season training camp in Portugal
Thursday 21 July 2022 22:04, UK
Jules Kounde has belatedly joined up with Sevilla's pre-season training camp in Portugal as Chelsea continue talks to sign the defender.
The player was initially left out of the group, but Kounde has now decided to join the group.
Chelsea have had a verbal agreement with Kounde since June. He has been admired by Tuchel for some time, having been linked with the Blues in last summer's transfer window.
Chelsea have signed Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly this summer but Tuchel is keen to add another centre-back to his squad having lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Chelsea were interested in Matthijs de Ligt, who has joined Bayern Munich for £68m, and Nathan Ake, who appears likely to stay at Man City.
Ahead of the pre-season friendly against Arsenal this weekend on the second leg of their US tour, Tuchel said Chelsea need to make further signings: "We need a couple more to improve the squad.
"We finished third last season - there was a gap. If you want to keep your position you need to improve. You can never stand still. Other teams will overtake you. We've lost players.
"This is common sense. It's the dream of every manager to find players from your own league who can adapt so easily. Raheem knows the habits of English clubs and has English team-mates here.
"Kalidou (Koulibaly) knows Mendy from the national team and Jorginho was a big help from Napoli to make the process of integration faster. They are huge players for us. We need to speed things up."
Tuchel has also played down talk that Armando Broja is set to leave the club on loan this summer.
Broja excelled during a loan spell last season at Southampton, but the indications are he will form part of Tuchel's plans this term.
"I don't expect him to leave," Tuchel continued. "I'm aware of the offers and aware of the interest. We will make a decision together, the owner, me and the player. When he arrived it was clear he is trying to impress and become a Chelsea player.
"After his Southampton loan it's clear he wants to make the next step. Unfortunately he got injured and there is now a lot of interest in him. Let's see how that goes. He has a contract here.
"We have a lot of options but not the type of Armando. Last season with him and Conor Gallagher we always have to weigh up what's good for them and the club. Is there a prospect of him getting minutes here?
"He has already played in the Premier League. With Armando, we have to look at the situation very carefully and individually and decide do we have the minutes we can offer so he can grow here or give him another loan to give him match minutes."
Broja's key strengths are in areas which often slip under the radar. He excels at regaining possession in the final third, winning aerials and running with the ball at his feet.
In fact, only five players recovered more possession in attacking areas last term - despite the Albanian starting only 21 league games.
In addition to being among the league's elite players for pressing from the front, he also ranks among the top 10 for fast breaks.
Despite his limited game time, the 20-year-old clocked 112 touches in the opposition box - achieved by deft movement, creating space and carrying the ball into dangerous areas.
Drilling deeper into his returns over a brief professional career to date, the youngster has produced 20 goals from just 48 starts across all competitions - an impressive strike-rate, given he has also been hooked off 35 times.
Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes at 11pm on September 1.
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