Chelsea transfer target Jules Kounde sent off for launching ball at Barcelona’s Jordi Alba
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Jules Kounde was given his marching orders in bizarre circumstances against Barcelona after throwing the ball into Jordi Alba’s face. The Sevilla defender has been strongly linked with a transfer to Chelsea next month.
Chelsea transfer target Kounde was shown a red card for launching a ball at Barcelona star Alba in a huge La Liga battle.
The France international had started at right-back and had a rocky game up until the incident after an hour on the clock.
Sevilla are looking for victory over Los Cules to keep up their surprise title race with Real Madrid but have been pegged back by a moment of madness from Kounde.
With the ball shepherded out for a throw-in, a very minor coming-together with Alba saw the defender completely lose his cool.
The red mist had descended and the 23-year-old propelled the ball into the Spaniard’s face, leaving him in a crumple on the floor.
Immediately, the referee showed Kounde a red card before the Frenchman pleaded his innocence but he had defence for his actions.
And while his future remains at Sevilla, there have been strong links to Chelsea – while Manchester United and Tottenham have also been interested.
Thomas Tuchel tried to sign him in the summer and a deal was reportedly struck worth around £50m.
But Sevilla moved the goalposts at the last moment and demanded his full release clause – said to be valued at £68m.
It saw transfer negotiations scuppered and Trevoh Chalobah was instead promoted to the first-team, where he has been a grand success.
However, with Chelsea potentially seeing four players leave at the end of the season through expired contracts, defence has become a priority in the transfer market.
Antonio Rudiger would be the biggest loss to Tuchel after becoming an integral part of the side that won the Champions League.
But the likes of Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen could also leave with their deals coming to an end in the summer – meaning they could leave as free agents.
Whether Chelsea can negotiate Sevilla back down to the originally agreed price remains to be seen – especially amid their dire situation.
One facet of the deal that the Blues can point to is the fact that Kounde has previously stated that he was gutted that his dream transfer fell through.
And his show of petulance against Barcelona might be a result of those failed negotiations, with his head no longer at the Spanish club.
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