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Jules Kounde, Ousmane Dembele – Why Chelsea haven’t signed any player yet in the current summer transfer window

Jules Kounde, Ousmane Dembele – Why Chelsea haven’t signed any player yet in the current summer transfer window

Chelsea have yet to finalise a transfer for the first team as June draws to a close, but the comings and goings at Stamford Bridge are beginning to appear.

By the end of the month, chairman Bruce Buck will have stepped down to become a senior advisor, and there is speculation that Marina Granovskaia may shortly leave Stamford Bridge.

This is not a typical transfer window for Chelsea, and despite the club’s best efforts to complete signings as soon as possible, sanctions imposed by the UK Government on former owner Roman Abramovich and the subsequent issuance of a special licence that the club had to operate under have left the Blues trailing in the transfer market.

They were lifted little over three weeks ago when Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took over the club, although transfers were just one item on the new owners’ broad and lengthy to-do list.

To meet Premier League requirements, contracts throughout the club needed to be agreed upon and departures decided across the complete squad and development team, discussions with sponsors needed to take place, sections of the club needed to return to operation, and a new structure developed.

While the excuses may not be acceptable to many, Chelsea has demonstrated the capacity to respond quickly when necessary. 

The Women’s team, for example, has acquired two new players, and the decision was made to exercise Billy Gilmour’s option to extend his contract until 2024 rather than negotiate a new contract.

As Chelsea’s principal negotiator across the board, Granovskaia will have been present in the majority of the transactions over the last decade.

With her future uncertain, the Blues would need to take a different approach.

That process appears to be settling in, with Boehly being mentioned as the person working on Romelu Lukaku’s return to Inter Milan, while Thomas Tuchel has a stronger influence in transfer decisions than in the past.

However, it should be noted that transfers involve more than one person.

Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta said yesterday on Radio Rai that the deal was complicated.

I can say that today will not be the day of Lukaku’s announcement. Me, Ausilio and Baccin have the duty to build a competitive team while respecting the sustainability of our club. From here polls and negotiations intertwine. We must have the ambition to try all the ways, without being afraid of not reaching the goal. Lukaku track is passable but there are difficulties and we’ll see how it goes.”

According to the latest reports, Inter president Steven Zhang has stalled procedures in order to secure a lower loan charge than the €10 million (£8.6 million) proposed thus far. 

Regardless of Lukaku’s and Chelsea’s readiness to do the trade, the club will not be intimidated into not receiving the value they believe they are entitled.

The significance of the Lukaku trade may then extend even further, informing the Blues about the mobility they will have in their forward positions. 

According to football.london, any deals for Ousmane Dembele or Raheem Sterling are separate transactions rather than alternatives.

However, landing both in spots where Chelsea already has so many bodies may prove difficult.

Despite the fact that Dembele became a free agent, the Frenchman did not intend to make a decision on his future until after his holiday, despite Chelsea having being in contact with his entourage.

The fact that the Blues would be dealing with a Premier League competitor complicates any negotiations for Sterling.

Given how long Chelsea has been tracking Jules Kounde, it’s understandable that some believed the 23-year-old defender would be signed in the first few hours of the transfer season.

Even then, signing a player who was still on international duty and having a surgery scheduled for a long-standing condition posed some danger. 

The outcome of that will most likely influence the fee the Blues are willing to pay.

However, the wait appears to be fraught with danger, with Kounde’s representatives reportedly becoming agitated. 

It remains to be seen whether Granovskaia’s connection with those figures will be fruitful before her own departure.

Gabriel Slonina and Eddie Beach may represent the transactions from which Chelsea is the most distant.

Following the Blues’ interest before being sanctioned, US goalkeeper Slonina appears to be close to a move, while the club have agreed a fee for Southampton’s promising glovesman, Beach.

Those are long-term investments, and potential is more obvious than a ready-made product to fit into Tuchel’s squad. 

Boehly and company will want to create a good first impression during their first transfer window in charge, but they will also want to ensure that the transfers benefit the club for years to come.


Jules Kounde, Ousmane Dembele – Why Chelsea haven’t signed any player yet in the current summer transfer window

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