Sources: Chelsea close in on €50m Kounde

Chelsea are hopeful of completing a deal worth in the region of €50 million for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde as defender Kurt Zouma closes on a move to West Ham United from Stamford Bridge, sources have told ESPN.

Talks with Sevilla over Kounde have been ongoing for some time but Chelsea needed to offload a centre-back first before pushing ahead with a move. West Ham agreed a €29.2m (£25m) fee for Zouma earlier this month but personal terms were an issue with the 26-year-old reluctant to leave Stamford Bridge.

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Zouma has two years left on his Chelsea contract and has turned down moves in previous years to fight for his place at the club. He was left out of Thomas Tuchel’s lineup for their opening two Premier League games but did start their UEFA Super Cup win over Villarreal.

Sources told ESPN another stumbling block came as Zouma asked for a wage in the region of £120,000-a-week — around double what he currently earns at Chelsea — to even consider moving to West Ham.

However, negotiations have progressed positively and Zouma underwent a medical on Thursday as all parties near an agreement. The deal is not yet finalised but Chelsea are optimistic that Zouma will depart, allowing them to press ahead with their pursuit of Kounde before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.

Kounde, 22, is keen on a move to the European champions but Sevilla are believed to be demanding the majority of any transfer fee paid up front. The exact fee and the structure of payments are yet to be formally agreed but sources told ESPN the two clubs are nearing an agreement worth approximately €50m.