Chelsea are edging closer to completing a deal to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla, according to reports.
The Blues have identified the Frenchman as their leading target as they seek to bolster their defence ahead of the new Premier League season.
And with a deal for Romelu Lukaku nearing completion, Chelsea are poised to step up their efforts to bring Kounde to Stamford Bridge.
According to The Sun, the club remains in talks with Sevilla over the signing of the defender.
The Spanish side are eyeing up a move for Ozan Kabak, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Liverpool.
Sevilla view Kabak as an ideal replacement for Kounde, who has also been linked with Manchester United and Tottenham in recent months.
Chelsea are hoping to include Kurt Zouma in the deal, but the two clubs have not yet reached an agreement on his value.
Such a move would also require buy-in from Zouma, who has also been spoken of as a target for West Ham.
And Sevilla may also insist on a cash-only deal, just as Inter did in the sale of Lukaku.
Tuchel’s priority going into the summer was a new centre-forward, with Tammy Abraham set to follow Olivier Giroud through the exit door.
He has always been keen to sign a new centre-back too. Thiago Silva has signed a one-year extension but will turn 37 in September.
Zouma has been made available for transfer, while Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are out of contract next summer.
Chelsea opted for experience in signing Silva before the start of last season, but they are now prizing youth.
Kounde is only 22 years of age and has plenty of time before he reaches his peak.
It is a sensible decision. Whereas Chelsea require the finished article in Lukaku up front, it is wise to target an up-and-coming defender who is nevertheless ready to play week in, week out from the start.