Jules Kounde will have the Chelsea vultures circling around his signature once again in the next transfer window, permitted his fee has been reduced.
This is according to ESPN, who claim the Blues are plotting another assault on Sevilla’s settlement for the young defender in January.
But only if the Spanish side decrease their demands for Kounde’s services.
Talks broke down over the Frenchman’s movements as Chelsea were not willing to match the original request.
Sevilla wanted the 22-year-old’s £68m (90min) release clause paid out in full; no if, buts or maybes.
Understandably, the Blues didn’t want to relinquish such cash, having just recovered enough to buy Romelu Lukaku.
However, ESPN suggest Chelsea would be keen to strike a deal with Sevilla if they lowered Kounde’s cost to £43m instead.
Based on the La Liga outfit’s previous stance, this might be a hard bargain to sell.
They will be well aware the Champions League holders have £29.8m (BBC) – a little more than the difference between the two prices – in the bank, following the sale of Kurt Zouma to West Ham United.
Julen Lopetegui’s employers will also be informed of Chelsea’s need to fill the centre-half slot left by Zouma.
Therefore, the ball really is in Sevilla’s court in terms of negotiating.
Unless, of course, Kounde actively pushes for the move, as ESPN say he is keen on joining the Stamford Bridge contingent.
A player Thomas Tuchel reportedly admires and is well respected within the Chelsea family.
“He’s a fantastic player,” said Frank Leboeuf.
“He has everything. He is a warrior. He never gives up. He has everything. He is the future for sure.”
Another tennis match between the Blues and Sevilla could be about to ensue, with Kounde acting as umpire.