Kounde to Chelsea could be held up by other transfer as player ‘cannot fly yet’

Chelsea could have a problem in their plan to sign Jules Kounde – one completely out of their hands.

Thomas Tuchel has signed Romelu Lukaku for the Blues at a club-record price of £97.5m in a deal from Inter Milan.

But that has been the only significant arrival at Stamford Bridge this summer despite interest in plenty of targets.

The likes of Adama Traore, Declan Rice and Aurelien Tchouameni have all been linked with a Chelsea switch.

However, one player is now the top target going into the final two weeks of the transfer window and that is Sevilla star Kounde.

The defender is one of the most sought-after players in Europe with a host of clubs interested including from Manchester United, Tottenham and Manchester City.

But Chelsea are the favourites to snap up the 22-year-old – but time is running out.

Much of the deal depends on whether the Blues can shunt out players with Tuchel instructed to trim his bloated squad, including Davide Zappacosta.

The Italian has a deal in place to join Fiorentina this summer in a loan move – what will be his third stint away.

However, that transfer can only go through when Pol Lirola joins Marseille – but there have been major problems.

According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Fiorentina have not authorised him to fly.

In what has been described as one of the “craziest” transfers of the summer, Lirola was expected to be in France today to sign his contract and complete a medical.

But he is still in Italy after problems arose between the two clubs over the deal.

The detriment means Zappacosta remains at Stamford Bridge, preventing Tuchel from completing further transfers.

Kounde being the top target at Chelsea puts the west London outfit in an irritating position.

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