Kurt Zouma could cause Chelsea to miss out on Sevilla’s Jules Kounde this summer because he doesn’t want to join West Ham United.
According to the Guardian, the Blues once-promising pursuit of Kounde has been delayed due to Zouma’s stubbornness.
Chelsea were hoping to use the France international as part of a swap deal for Sevilla’s centre-back.
Kounde has a release clause of £68m (Guardian), a fee the Stamford Bridge chain of command are not willing to pay in full.
They had anticipated Zouma plus some cash would lower the price somewhat.
However, the Spanish side want complete payment for their young star.
Even if Chelsea did offer all of the money being asked for, they would still face the issue of making room for Kounde in the squad.
Thomas Tuchel has an array of central defenders on display, with Zouma arguably at the bottom of his pecking order.
That is partly the reason why Chelsea would like to move on the 26-year-old in order to house his compatriot.
The Blues turned to West Ham instead, who have expressed interest in Zouma.
Yet, the towering center-half seemingly does not want to join the rival London club.
This ultimately leaves the Champions League holders in a pretty sticky situation regarding Kounde.
Do they just accept they will have to forfeit £68m and take a dent out of their Romelu Lukaku fund?
Or continue to push Zouma away and risk an awkward situation if they fail to sell him this season?