Chelsea have sanctioned the departures of Ike Ugbo and Davide Zappacosta to Genk and Atalanta respectively, reputed journalist Fabrizio Romano claims.
The Blues have made just one high-profile signing this summer in Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian returned to the club from Inter Milan for a record €115 million fee.
They are eyeing an elite centre-back before the transfer deadline next week, and it is widely known that they are negotiating a deal for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.
The Blues are keen to recoup funds for the Frenchman, and the progress has already started with Ugbo and Zappacosta leaving on permanent deals.
Ugbo had an impressive 2020/21 season with Cercle Brugge in Belgium, registering 17 goals. He looks set to return to the Jupiler Pro League with heavyweights Genk.
Genk have agreed to pay around €7.5m. Meanwhile, Zappacosta has earned a high-profile move to Serie A club Atalanta. A €10m fee has been finalised for his transfer.
Kurt Zouma could be the next player to head for the exit door with West Ham United agreeing on a €30m fee. They have yet to sort out personal terms.
Sevilla are quite clear that they won’t entertain any part-exchange deals for Kounde, and they rejected €35m plus Zouma earlier in the summer.
The Blues have recouped valuable funds through deals for Ugbo and Zappacosta, and Zouma’s departure could pave the way for a fresh Kounde bid.
The club have an overload of central defenders with Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Ethan Ampadu, Malang Sarr and Zouma.
While Zouma appears set to leave permanently, Ampadu and Sarr are likely to leave on loan. The Blues have a big decision to make on Trevoh Chalobah.
Chalobah stood out in his European and Premier League debuts, but he could struggle for playing time if the Blues succeed in landing Kounde this month.
The initial plans were to send him on loan. They could consider the same route such that Chalobah can earn more first-team experience before becoming a regular.
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