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Squad selection leaves clues in late Chelsea chase for Jules Kounde

Chelsea has been given a major boost to their confidence in securing a deal for Sevilla’s highly-touted center-back Jules Koundé.

Kounde is out of Sevilla’s squad this weekend. (via @pacoricolozano) #CFC

— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) August 27, 2021

With Sevilla set for an away day against Elche on Saturday, it came to light that boss Julen Lopetegui failed to include the Frenchman in his matchday squad.

This has prompted many to speculate that a move to Chelsea is nearing completion, with the Blues set to finally seal a deal for the Girondins Bordeaux academy graduate after a protracted transfer saga.

Koundé in high demand this summer for the Blues It has hardly been a secret how badly Chelsea have wanted to add Jules koundé to Thomas Tuchel’s first-team squad as the Blues look to hunt down Manchester City and Manchester United this season for the top spot in the Premier League.

Jules Kounde of Sevilla CF celebrates his goal during the Spanish Copa del Rey semifinals first leg match between Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan in Sevilla, Spain.

(Photo by Jose Luis Contreras/DAX Images/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

But a deal for the Paris-native and full French international was hardly easy to come by given the bloated nature of the squad. Much of Chelsea’s business this summer has been contingent on the club’s ability to clear the decks of players that were surplus to requirements, and in this arena, club director Marina Granovskaia has done exceptionally well.

Not only is Chelsea edging closer to acquiring Koundé for less than his release clause, but the Blues also secured a return for Romelu Lukaku for less than what Inter Milan was hoping to hold out for. Additionally, despite how hard it can be to get rid of player assets in a depressed market, Chelsea has successfully accrued Tammy Abraham, Tikayo Tomori, Davide Zappacosta, Victor Moses, and Olivier Giroud, while shipping out six players on loan deals.

In addition, the likely sale of Kurt Zouma was the domino that needed to fall in order to make way for Koundé’s capture, and with Zouma all but moved to West Ham, the molding of a title-winning squad under Tuchel is just about complete, with Koundé being one of the chief pieces necessary to institute a long-term vision for renewed Premier League achievement.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P 1 West Ham United 2 5 6 2 Chelsea FC 2 5 6 3 Liverpool FC 2 5 6 4 Brighton & Hove Albion 2 3 6 5 Tottenham Hotspur 2 2 6 6 Manchester United 2 4 4 7 Everton FC 2 2 4 8 Brentford FC 2 2 4 9 Manchester City 2 4 3 10 Aston Villa 2 1 3 11 Watford FC 2 -1 3 12 Leicester City 2 -2 3 13 Southampton FC 2 -2 1 14 Crystal Palace 2 -3 1 15 Leeds United 2 -4 1 16 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 -2 0 17 Burnley FC 2 -3 0 18 Newcastle United 2 -4 0 19 Arsenal FC 2 -4 0 20 Norwich City 2 -8 0 Player Team Goals Antonio, Michail West Ham United 3 Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 3 Benrahma, Said West Ham United 2 Ings, Danny Aston Villa 2 Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 2 Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 2 Greenwood, Mason Manchester United 2 Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 1 Doucoure, Abdoulaye Everton FC 1 Fornals, Pablo West Ham United 1 Richarlison Everton FC 1 Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 1 James, Reece Chelsea FC 1 Cresswell, Aaron West Ham United 1 Klich, Mateusz Leeds United 1 Duffy, Shane Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Alonso, Marcos Chelsea FC 1 Lukaku, Romelu Chelsea FC 1 Ayling, Luke Leeds United 1

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