Chelsea could be set to make France and Sevilla defender Jules Kounde their first summer transfer window signing.

According to Goal, the Blues are preparing for the departure of Real Madrid bound Antonio Rudiger. The German’s contract expires at the end of the ongoing season, and the 29-year-old will join Real Madrid this summer, as reported by Goal, Chelsea are, therefore, looking to sign a top-quality defender.

The Blues have reportedly reached a verbal agreement with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. They are keen to make him their first acquisition of the summer once Todd Boehly’s takeover is complete and the UK Government sanctions end.

Kounde has developed into one of the most promising young prospects in Europe during his spell with Sevilla, making over 130 appearances since arriving in Seville in 2019. The 23-year-old won the 2019/20 Europa League and has guided Sevilla to fourth place in La Liga this season. His power, speed and versatility make him the ideal transfer target for Thomas Tuchel.

The Blues attempted to sign the Frenchman last summer and had agreed terms with him. The deal, however, fell through, as Sevilla hiked their asking price at the 11th hour, according to Goal.

The Spanish side are now demanding a fee in the region of {59M euros} for the 23-year-old. Lopetegui’s side will be keen to complete the sale early on to be able to sign an adequate replacement.

Meanwhile, the Blues’ expected new owner Todd Boehly is believed to be ‘ambitious’, as reported by Football London. He’s likely to provide Thomas Tuchel with the funds required to sign his top transfer targets and assemble a squad capable of winning trophies.