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Chelsea is prepared to include Hakim Ziyech as part of a deal to sign Jules Kounde from Seville, according to AS.

Although the Blues have kept a lot of clean sheets under Thomas Tuchel, he is still looking to sign a new centre-back this summer.

Chelsea has already been linked with Bayern Munich’s Niklas Sule, RB Leipzig’s Ibrahim Konate and Atletico Madrid star Jose Gimenez.

However, 22-year-old Kounde is the defender now on Tuchel’s radar and it is believed the Premier League side are now in ‘pole position’ to land the Frenchman.

Kounde has an €80 million (£69m) release clause, but Chelsea will not stump up the full buyout fee, they are hopeful that including a player or several players, as part of the deal could lower the overall cash value.

Ziyech is one of the players they would be prepared to offer despite the Moroccan only arriving from Ajax last summer, while Tammy Abraham, Michy Batshuayi, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Kepa Arrizabalaga are also potential makeweights.

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