Chelsea have made Jules Kounde their top priority for the moment and are in advanced talks with Sevilla over a move for the defender in the coming days.

Thomas Tuchel is keen to strengthen his backline and has identified the French center back as the ideal candidate. Kounde will come in to compete against Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen for a place in the heart of the Chelsea back line.

Kounde has impressed for Sevilla in recent campaigns and has attracted interest from a number of clubs including Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in the Premier League. The 22-year-old has a £68.4 million release clause in his contract and the cash-strapped La Liga outfit are hoping to recoup as much of it as possible.

According to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are unwilling to match the release clause but have offered Kounde's countryman Kurt Zouma as part of a player plus cash deal. The two clubs are in constant contact to find an agreement, with Sevilla said to also be looking at free agent Jerome Boateng as a potential replacement.

Chelsea have already held talks with Kounde and his representatives with personal terms already agreed for a five year contract until the summer of 2026. The player is also keen to join the reigning European champions after stalling on a move to Spurs after the north London club made a player plus cash deal earlier in the summer.

The Daily Mail reports that Spurs offered cash plus Davinson Sanchez to sign Kounde but the player was happy to wait and see what other offers arrived on the table. Chelsea will be able to offer the France international Champions League football, and is certainly a bigger draw than their London rivals at the moment.

The two Manchester clubs - United and City - were also interested but have not made a formal approach. Moreover, the Red Devils are unlikely to want another centre -back after confirming the arrival of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is chasing two trophies this season Ben STANSALL/AFP