Report: Chelsea now in real danger of missing out on £52m star, he's in 'advanced negotiations' to join another club

Chelsea are reportedly in big danger of missing out on long-term target Jules Kounde.

According to Catalunya Radio, Barcelona have entered advanced talks with Sevilla over a possible move for the Frenchman.

The 23-year-old has been linked to a move to Stamford Bridge for a long time, after a potential deal fell through in the last summer transfer window.

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The centre-back made 44 appearances for Sevilla last season, including nine in Europe for the Europa League specialists.

The Spaniards are preparing for a complete rebuild at the back, after Aston Villa announced the signing of Brazilian Diego Carlos.

The Blues were reported as firm favourites for the deal, which was expected to still take place despite Kounde’s required surgery after these international fixtures.

However, Catalunya Radio are reporting Barcelona are in advanced talks to keep the France international in La Liga, with them suggesting a deal could be struck for £52m plus a player – with the report looking of genuine concern to those involved at Stamford Bridge.

They also suggest Xavi’s side would be willing to increase his current salary, which they claim has made Kounde willing to join the project.

The deal would be a massive blow for the Blues, who have highlighted the 23-year-old as the marquee replacement for departed centre-backs Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

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A move to Barcelona would really hurt Chelsea. Not only in terms of on-the-pitch talent, but seeing the move slip through their fingers at the last possible stage would be a terrible start to the Todd Boehly era.

The only way the club could recover if it does fall through is to go out and sign a better player, even if it ends up costing them far more.

With rumours of Matthijs de Ligt assessing his options, it would be a statement for the Blues to go out and bring the Dutchman in, despite the reported price tag of over £100m.

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.