Jules Kounde’s representatives have informed Chelsea that the French defender is ready to finalise his move to Stamford Bridge, 90min understands.

The Blues met Sevilla’s £55m asking price for Kounde earlier this week but Barcelona remained in contact with the 23-year-old in the hope of convincing him to move to Camp Nou instead – despite never lodging a formal bid to Sevilla.

Meanwhile, Kounde was left out of Sevilla’s pre-season squad – he is recovering from injury and is yet to resume team training – only to request to travel to Portugal with the rest of the first team anyway.

The defender’s actions had left Chelsea fans sweating but sources have now confirmed to 90min that Kounde has formally communicated his desire to finalise his move to England.

Personal terms have long been agreed after Chelsea came close to signing Kounde last summer, and with Sevilla giving the green light as well, the Blues are now finalising the necessary paperwork to get this long-awaited signing over the line.

Listen now to 90min’s Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Chelsea finally closing in on Jules Kounde, Man Utd’s ongoing pursuit of Frenkie de Jong, West Ham’s hunt for a new forward and left-back and more. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

Kounde is now set to become Chelsea’s second defensive reinforcement of the summer following the arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.

The Frenchman’s arrival could also trigger the departure of current Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who is wanted by Barcelona and would cost the Catalan side a small fee. Having activated the ‘second lever’ – selling 15% of their TV rights – Barcelona have the capability to pursue a move for the 32-year-old.

Officials from the La Liga side are now planning further talks over a deal for Azpilicueta, who remains interested in joining Barcelona.

The Blaugrana are also interested in striking a deal for Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso who, like Azpilicueta, has just 12 months remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge.

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