are ready to switch focus with their hopes of signing Jules Kounde from Sevilla fading fast.
The Blues have coveted the France international for well over 12 months and came close to signing the defender last summer, only for the Spanish club to pull the plug at the last minute.
Chelsea revived their interest in Kounde following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, but the player’s desire to join is looking increasingly likely to prove decisive.
Kalidou Koulibaly arrived earlier this month and his debut performance against suggested he has the qualities to replace Ruidger at the heart of Chelsea’s defence.
A 4-0 defeat, however, highlighted the deficiencies in a squad that could well still lose the likes of experienced defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso, both wanted by Barcelona, before the transfer window closes.
According to the , Chelsea will now turn their attention to Inter wing-back Denzel Dumfries and abandon their pursuit of Kounde.
Tuchel is said to have held reservations over Kounde, given his lack of height, and although Dumfries wouldn’t solve that issue, his signing could hint at a potential change of position for Reece James.
The England international featured on the right-hand side of a back three with increasing regularity towards the end of last season and Tuchel has previously admitted he is torn over where James’ long-term future would lie.
Inter are prepared to sell one of Dumfries or Milan Skriniar this summer and although the Slovakia international is wanted by PSG, they are not prepared to meet his £59million asking price.
Chelsea have also looked at the possibility of signing Skriniar, but Dumfries is said to be the more viable option at present.
Tuchel, meanwhile, cut a frustrated figure last Saturday when Arsenal tore his side to shreds and subsequently outlined the desperate need to make more signings with the new Premier League season zooming into view.
He said: ‘It is not only about bringing players in for numbers; we need numbers, we also need quality.
‘So we will make some decisions late, not only about players but also about systems. Ideally we would have a left-footer.’
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