Chelsea stuck in finding defensive solution
Premier League club Chelsea appear to be stuck in an attempt to solve their defensive problems in the current transfer window
The Premier League season begins in less than two weeks, and Chelsea have yet to find a solution in their defensive positions.
The Blues, who have lost two key defenders in Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, are yet to replace both defenders ahead of the coming campaign.
Chelsea have been linked with several defenders in the current transfer window, with the club's manager, Thomas Tuchel, pushing hard to have enough players in the defensive position before the season starts.
In the club's long list of defenders, Sevilla's French defender, Jules Kounde, has been Chelsea's number one primary target since last season, with Thomas Tuchel understood to be a fervent admirer of the talented-centre back.
Chelsea had initially reached a personal agreement with the player's camp but got stuck in long negotiations with Sevilla over a transfer fee.
According to sources, the Premier League club saw their initial €50m bid for the player rejected as Sevilla held out for a €60m asking price.
Due to Chelsea's delay in completing the transaction, Barcelona jumped into Kounde's deal and have reached a personal agreement with the player.
Despite Chelsea's improved £55 million offer, Barcelona has reached an agreement with Sevilla for Kounde, who flew from Sevilla's pre-season camp in Portugal to Barcelona on Thursday to undergo his medical as a new Barcelona player.
Sevilla's Jules Koundé appears to have chosen Barcelona over Chelsea and is waiting for his club to complete a deal with the La Liga giant
Manchester City's Nathan Aké was another defender on Chelsea's radar, and the Dutch international was eager to return to his former club after reaching a personal agreement with the Blues.
After a few days of negotiations, Chelsea were dealt a blow as Manchester City communicated their decision to keep the player.
Chelsea were also in contact with Juventus for Matthijs de Ligt, whom they lost to Bayern Munich, as the player chose to move to the German Bundesliga over the English Premier League side.
After missing out on Matthijs de Ligt, Chelsea's manager, Thomas Tuchel, turned his attention to Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, who they signed for £33m on a four-year deal.
Despite signing the Senegalese international player, Thomas Tuchel knows he needs more defenders to compete this season and has been pushing to sign another defender before the end of the transfer window.
The manager is also looking to reunite with his former player, Presnel Kimpembe, and Chelsea have been in contact with Paris Saint-Germain for the Frenchman.
Tuchel believes they can reach an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain, although a deal has yet to be discussed on personal terms with the player's camp.
Presnel Kimpembe is yet to decide on a move to Chelsea
Paris Saint-Germain are believed to be keen on signing Inter Milan defender Milan Škriniar and may allow Kimpembe to leave if the Slovakia international is signed.
Chelsea are also attempting to derail the deal for Milan Škriniar, with reports claiming that a meeting for the player was held in London. Following a 4-0 loss to Arsenal, Thomas Tuchel lamented the lack of players at his disposal and requested that the board make more acquisitions before the transfer window closes.
With negotiations for Kimpembe ongoing, Chelsea are also reported to be interested in signing Leicester City's defender Wesley Fofana and could bid for the young French defender if they do not get their prime targets.
Having lost the race for Jules Kounde and a deal for Presnel Kimpembe looking unlikely if Paris Saint-Germain can not sign Milan Škriniar, Chelsea appear to be stuck in finding a solution to their defensive problems.
Inter Milan have communicated their intention of keeping Škriniar next season and might maintain their stance on the player if they do not receive a suitable offer.
Chelsea could lose another defender yet again with Barcelona pushing to sign the club's captain, César Azpilicueta, which could be another setback for the Blues.