Report: Player refuses to travel with teammates for weekend's fixture to force Chelsea transfer
Jules Kounde has reportedly refused to travel with the rest of the Sevilla squad for their fixture against Elche amid an ongoing transfer negotiation with Chelsea, according to El Desmarque.
The 22-year previously also missed a few pre-season games, reportedly due to the earlier talks over a potential move to Stamford Bridge.
Kounde has since returned to Sevilla’s starting line-ups in their last two La Liga fixtures.
However, the centre-back has now decided to make his desire to join Chelsea clear to the club by refusing to travel for Sevilla’s match against Elche on Sunday, El Desmarque claims.
Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui, who finally opened up about Kounde’s transfer situation, has also hinted at the defender’s potential absence in the next fixture.
“Those who come to the game have to be 100% focused on the game,” the former Real Madrid boss said in Friday’s press conference.
Interestingly, the report mentioned that Chelsea and Sevilla are still far apart in terms of transfer fees for the centre-back.
Sevilla reportedly turned down a €50million (£42.8m) initial offer from Chelsea, and the latter has yet to return with an improved bid.
As a result, Sevilla are now in an uncomfortable position where they could lose a key player while signing a replacement is still not a feasible option at this point.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are likely still waiting to offload Kurt Zouma before making a second bid for Kounde.
According to Sky Sports, Zouma has now completed a medical ahead of his move to West Ham.