Chelsea transfer target Jules Kounde has been left out of Sevilla’s 31-man squad which traveled to Portugal to face French side Angers in a pre-season friendly so as his £55million move to Stamford Bridge draws closer.
The Blues are in advanced talks to sign the 23-year-old France international centre-back, who was the subject of a failed £42.5million offer from Thomas Tuchel last summer.
Earlier this week, Chelsea tabled a new offer of £51m before increasing their bid by a further £4m in a bid to complete the deal.
Kounde, who wants to test himself in the Premier League, could be ready to follow Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly through the door as Todd Boehly looks to usher in the new era at Chelsea in style.
However, if Chelsea are to complete the deal, they will have to see strong interest from Barcelona, with the Catalan giants also in talks with Sevilla.
The Andalusian club are keen to hold an auction for Kounde and will give Barcelona the chance to match Chelsea’s highest bid before agreeing a deal.
Barca’s financial woes have apparently been eased by their lucrative £239million Spotify sponsorship deal, which has been the main driver of their summer spending power.