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Chelsea are looking to take a leaf out of the books of two of their fiercest rivals as they prepare to launch an assault on the Premier League title this season. Stamford Bridge chiefs hope the strategy will see the top flight trophy returning to west London for the first time since 2017.
Liverpool made rapid progress under German boss Jurgen Klopp after he took over at Anfield in 2015.
But it wasn’t until he secured the signing of centre-back Virgil van Dijk for over £75million that Liverpool finally started to dominate.
With Van Dijk in the side the Reds became a ferocious force and stormed to Champions League triumph in 2019, before winning their first-ever Premier League title 12 months later.
Manchester United tried to replicate Liverpool’s success with a major centre-back signing of their own when they lured Harry Maguire to Old Trafford in 2019 for even more money than Van Dijk had cost Liverpool.
The England international has certainly shored up the United defence, with the Red Devils nearly tasting Europa League success last term before ultimately failing at the final hurdle.
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Marina Granovskaia wants to bring Jules Kounde to Chelsea (Image: GETTY)
United know they need reinforcements to really mix it at the top of the league. And this week they are expected to officially announce the signing of Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, who will partner Maguire at the heart of the defence.
Liverpool have, meanwhile, added Ibrahima Konate to their ranks, meaning the two clubs have spent a combined total of around £230m on four defenders.
And now it’s Chelsea’s turn to get in on the action.
Chelsea reinvigorated their defence under Thomas Tuchel in the second half of last season and posted some of the best defensive stats in the Premier League.
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In fact, the Blues finished the season with the second-best defensive record as they kept 11 clean sheets in Tuchel’s 19 league games in charge.
They took that form into the Champions League as well, where they proved difficult to break down, and they frustrated Manchester City throughout the final as they battled to a 1-0 victory to lift the trophy.
But Chelsea want to taste Premier League success once again and are desperate to land defender Jules Kounde from Sevilla.
Tuchel knows that Kounde can improve his defence further and help the Blues become title challengers again this season.
Chelsea want to sign Jules Kounde this summer (Image: GETTY)
The 22-year-old was a standout performer for Sevilla last season as his side finished fourth in La Liga with the third best defensive record.
Kounde also has Champions League experience and was part of France’s Euro 2020 squad.
But Kounde won’t come cheap. The defender apparently has a release clause, which would allow him to leave Sevilla if an offer of £68m comes in for him.
Chelsea might be used to spending big at the other end of the pitch, but it’s clear to see that a prodigious amount of cash now apparently needs to be spent in the backline if clubs want to achieve the success they crave.