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Chelsea beat out Barcelona in transfer battle to French defender Jules Koundé

Thomas Tuchel will sleep that much better tonight knowing that his tactical reshuffle continues to come off this summer after Chelsea is on the doorstep of a completed deal for French international defender Jules Koundé.

Per reports from The Telegraph’s Matt Law, Koundé will become the third signing of the summer for Chelsea after the big arrivals of England star Raheem Sterling and Senegalese international stalwart Kalidou Koulibaly.

More importantly, Koundé likely rounds out the defensive reshuffle undertaken by the Stamford Bridge outfit during the transfer window after the Blues lost both Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen to free transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

The £56m move for the 23-year-old Frenchman would catapult the Blues’ summer spending to £136m across their three major signings, with Koundé signing on for an initial five years in west London.

With Chelsea set to persist in a back-three deployment under Tuchel, the need to replace Rüdiger and Christensen was paramount to the club’s transfer plans this summer.

Koulibaly and Koundé are likely to line up next to Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva in the upcoming 2022-23 Premier League campaign, with the club still - at current - maintaining the likes of Trevoh Chalobah, Malang Sarr, and Ethan Ampadu on their books, though one or more could be jettisoned and sold before the window closes.

Chelsea could also be set to lose another defender, however, with the deal for Koundé possibly opening the door for Barcelona to secure a deal for Spanish veteran presence César Azpilicueta per their long-standing interest this summer.

New owner Todd Boehly has already made headway in his desire to supply Tuchel with the names and faces potentially required for Chelsea to push both Manchester City and Liverpool for Premier League honors this season at the earliest convenience, with the Blues still hopeful of making a play for Dutch international star Frenkie de Jong.

Should Azpilicueta move to Catalunya, the Blues could also make a serious play for Bayern Munich and French international versatile defender Benjamin Pavard, who could well be walking out of the Allianz Arena with interest from four European giants.

Given the intent shown by the Blues this summer, there could be a serious third player in the Premier League title race this season.

Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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