Chelsea are reportedly preparing to use Kurt Zouma as part of a swap deal to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla.
Tottenham came close to signing the Frenchman in a similar player-plus-cash deal earlier in the window, but it now looks as though the Blues are closing in on the finish line with negotiations at an advanced stage.
Tottenham’s proposal earlier this summer involved Davinson Sanchez heading to Sevilla, a bid which the club subsequently accepted.
However, the deal fell through when Kounde himself turned his nose up at the prospect of moving to north London.
The accepted bid from will have given Chelsea belief in their idea of tabling Zouma, and Fabrizio Romano claims that this is exactly what the club are preparing to do.
A one-in, one-out policy from Sevilla’s perspective would at least save them the need to venture back out into the transfer market to find a replacement centre-back.
Zouma is a physically dominant defender, although he struggled to nail down a consistent spot in Thomas Tuchel’s defence last season, which was rotated regularly.
At 26 years old, the Frenchman still has plenty of years in the tank so he could turn out to be a useful asset for Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui.
Personal terms have reportedly been agreed between Chelsea and Kounde, which leaves just the transfer fee, or indeed player-plus-cash fee in this case, to be worked out.
Manchester City tried and failed with a bid in the region of £45million for Kounde last summer, so it will undoubtedly require a fee on top of Zouma to prise the youngster away.
On a personal level, at least, the centre-back appears keen on a move to Stamford Bridge, an element which was missing in Tottenham’s bid to sign the player.
The fact that Tuchel masterminded a supberb Champions League triumph last season would certainly have helped sway the defender’s decision.
Chelsea’s ambition in the transfer market, reportedly chasing Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku, should also encourage Kounde in terms of where they are attempting to get to.
If the deal goes through as expected, it would be the third time that the Blues have swooped in to steal a seemingly Tottenham-bound star in recent years.
Back in 2012, Eden Hazard looked to be heading to Spurs before changing course at the last minute.
One year later, Roman Abramovich repeated the feat by flicking through his Russian contacts book to recruit Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala when a move to Spurs looked nailed on.
This time around, Chelsea appear to be closing in on their man once again.
Swap deals are usually tricky to orchestrate, but based on previous dealings, proposing Zouma as part of the deal could work in Tuchel’s favour as they bid to get one of Europe’s hottest young defenders through the door.