Jules Kounde has been left out of the Sevilla squad for their pre-season tour of Portugal, as he edges closer to a long-awaited move to Chelsea.
Kounde was heavily linked with the Blues last summer, only for a deal to fall through at the last minute.
Chelsea have never lost interest though, and 90min understands that the two clubs have finally agreed a fee of around €55m, plus €10m in add-ons, for the defender’s services.
Personal terms have been agreed for some time, given the Blues confidence that the transfer will be confirmed imminently.
Sevilla are set to play a series of friendlies in Portugal over the coming days, and it was confirmed on Thursday that Kounde would not be linking up with his teammates.
He is understood to have only just recovered from surgery on a minor pelvis injury, and has not yet completed a training session – so his lack of involvement is not surprising. However, his absence will afford him time to finalise a move to Chelsea.
90min understands that Barcelona remain highly interested in Kounde, but they have taken too long to submit a concrete offer and the player now looks set to join Chelsea – despite his preference for a move to Camp Nou.
The Blues are hoping that Kounde will be able to join their pre-season tour of the United States to continue his return to full fitness. Chelsea will also be keen for him to build up an early understanding with fellow defensive arrival Kalidou Koulibaly,
The club are keen to add a further centre-back to their ranks and are considering Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe – though that move hinges on PSG finalising a deal for Inter defender Milan Skriniar.