FANTASTIC SIGNING: Chelsea complete deal after lead over Barcelona to signing £43m-rated star
Chelsea have taken lead over Barcelona to sign £43m-rated star - reportChelsea have taken the lead to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde this summer, Spanish publication Sport reports.The Blues are expected to strengthen their central defensive department with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leaving on free transfers.There is also speculation that Cesar Azpilicueta could head for the exit door. Amidst this, Sport claim that the Blues are working on a deal for Kounde.The west London giants are long-term admirers of the Frenchman. They failed to land his signature last summer, but have now revived their pursuit.Chelsea have no concerns over the financial package that could cost €50-60 million (£43-51m), but need to act fast with Barcelona also interested.Kounde agreed personal terms with Chelsea last summer, but a deal did not materialise before the deadline. Sevilla were reluctant to accept anything less than his €80m buy-out clause.However, the situation has somewhat changed this time. The LaLiga outfit need to balance their books before June 30, and are willing to sanction Kounde’s departure for the right price.Sevilla recently sanctioned the sale of Diego Carlos and are now eyeing a quick deal for Kounde such that they can focus on rebuilding their central defensive partnership for next season.The Blues are best placed to land Kounde after coming close to securing his services last year. They should have an advantage over Barcelona, who have financial problems to deal with.At the moment, the Catalan outfit can’t register the signings of Christensen and Franck Kessie until they lower their wage bill. A big outlay for Kounde seems out of order at the moment.Kounde should be a quality signing for Chelsea. He is superb with his ball-playing ability and is also strong in the air despite not being the tallest of central defenders at 178cm.The Frenchman is not known for his tough tackling, but tends to make up for it with his ability to clear his lines regularly. He should be an ideal fit on the right side of the back three.