'More than one': Journalist says Chelsea may complete double deal to sign for £100m star and 23-year-old this summer
The insider also claims the Blues’ interest in strengthening at the back doesn’t end there, with Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt also on the radar – in a potential double swoop.
The Blues’ interest in Sevilla’s Kounde has been well documented, with the club looking to get the deal over the line last summer.
Everything looked promising for the centre-back to make the move to London, before the deal fell through at the final stages.
The 23-year-old helped secure his current side Champions League football next season with a fourth place finish in La LIga, however crashed out of the Europa League to West Ham at the Round of 16 stage.
Now Crook believes the deal for the Frenchman is imminent, as Chelsea begin their quest to close the gap on heavyweights Manchester City and Liverpool.
He says: “I think that Jules Kounde is their top target. I would expect that to happen, but they probably do need more than one.
“Sources in Italy are suggesting that Chelsea are interested in Matthijs de Ligt at Juventus.”
The club’s desire for multiple defensive signings could stem from the potential exodus in the position at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Rudiger’s move to Real Madrid is already confirmed, while it is speculated that Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta could also be on their way out.
This could lead the Blues towards Dutchman De Ligt, who has hesitated on signing a new deal in Turin.
The 22-year-old was imperious for Ajax before securing his move to Italy. However, competition from the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have stagnated the Dutch international’s progress.
The only issue is that the current asking price for De Ligt stands at around £100 million, according to Calcio Mercato, and that is a fee the Blues are surely unlikely to pay as they begin their new era under owner Todd Boehly.
If Chelsea are to complete the double deal, which Crook suggests they might, they will surely have to negotiate to get money off with Juventus.