£55m Chelsea target injured on international duty, manager confirms will need surgery

Chelsea target Jules Kounde suffered an injury in last night’s shock 1-0 defeat to Croatia in the Nations League.

France manager Didier Deschamps confirmed the defender would require surgery on a problem which has plagued him for a while.

The Sevilla man started as France looked to keep their faint hopes of retaining the Nations League alive as they hosted Croatia, however an early Luka Modric penalty killed those chances.

Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

The 23-year-old had an even less enjoyable night. Filling in at a less familiar right-back role, he was subbed off at half-time due to his injury.

Kounde has been heavily speculated to be the first piece of business the Blues get over the line this summer, following well-documented interest in completing the deal 12 months ago.

Unfortunately, Deschamps confirmed Blues fans’ worst nightmares of surgery being required, plunging the deal into danger.

The French manager said: “Tomorrow, he will have an intervention [surgical] because he has a problem that dates from several months ago.”

It is unclear if the Blues were aware of this issue as they looked to bring Kounde in, however the lack of reports of it when discussing transfer interest may suggest they will have been caught by surprise with this revelation.

Photo by Rubén de la Fuente Pérez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While Deschamps offered no clarity on the extent of the layoff for the Sevilla man, Chelsea will be disappointed if the deal reaches yet another stumbling block, especially after last year’s antics.

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If Chelsea are forced to look elsewhere for a centre-back this summer, the club should treat it as a priority, spending a lot of money in getting the right man.

With this said, rumours about Matthijs de Ligt won’t go away, despite the potential club-record price tag.

Elsewhere, reuniting Thomas Tuchel with Presnel Kimpembe could be an effective move, with the Frenchman developing massively since Thiago Silva’s departure from PSG in 2020.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.