Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel is very interested in bringing Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe to Stamford Bridge this summer. According to a report from Sky Sports, Kimpembe is part of a shortlist of defenders the Blues are looking at and is also ‘Tuchel’s preference’.
football.london understands Jules Kounde is Chelsea’s priority following the takeover of the club finally being announced on Monday. The Sevilla defender is keen on moving to the Blues, almost 12 months after his proposed switch to Stamford Bridge collapsed at the final hurdle.
There’s a growing expectation that Chelsea will get the Kounde deal over the line this time around, but their search for defenders is set to continue after that. With Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both departing this summer, the Blues need to recruit in the defensive areas.
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Josko Gvardiol, Gleison Bremer and Pau Torres have all been watched by Chelsea in recent times, but another man whose name refuses to go away is Kimpembe. The 26-year-old center-back has just over two years remaining on his contract with PSG and is being strongly linked with an exit from the Parc des Princes.
Kimpembe, a France international, played 41 times for the French champions in all competitions in the 2021/22 season, establishing himself as a key part of Mauricio Pochettino’s team. The French defender came through the PSG academy, with the Paris-based club the only team he’s represented at a professional level.
“One family, one big family. This is the place where I grew up. This is my heart club,” Kimpembe said in the summer of 2020. “It is a place where I feel good and where I would like to do most of my career. “
Tuchel coached Kimpembe during their time together in the French capital. The German head coach took over at PSG in May 2018 and stayed there until December 2020, where Kimpembe played 80 times – in all competitions – under the now-Chelsea manager.
Kimpembe was clearly, and most likely still is, a huge admirer of Tuchel. When the German left PSG, the defender tweeted an emotional farewell. The tweet read: “Thank you coach for these years. Thank you to you and your team for your high standards, your trust, your enormous work, which allowed us to win many trophies together. I wish you the best for your next adventures. “
During PSG’s 2019/20 title-winning season, Kimpembe was a crucial part of Tuchel’s side, where he showcased a host of different attributes that could make him an ideal fit for the Premier League. The defender is particularly skilled at reading the game and making timely interceptions to win possession back for his team.
Kimpembe likes to step up from the defensive line, where he is usually marking a player. Of course, this isn’t always good news for the defender because they can be caught out of position. However, the Frenchman is very quick to do this usually and often gets in front of the striker and collects the ball.
In possession, also, Kimpembe is very impressive. He can bring the ball out from defense and often looks for the forward pass. His calmness and composure would surely suit the way Tuchel’s Chelsea side set up while on the ball.
As well as this, it helps that Kimpembe played 75 matches – in all competitions – alongside Thiago Silva during their PSG days. That’s a lot of matches that would undoubtedly helped the two understand each other and the way they like to defend.
Tuchel’s view on transfers
With Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital’s consortium finally completing its takeover of Chelsea, there is now set to be a big summer transfer window ahead for the club. Tuchel was asked about the window following the Blues’ 2-1 win against Watford on the final day of the season.
The Chelsea head coach said: “We have clear ideas for the profiles and characteristics of these players. It is not like you put a name on the list and then you get the player.
“You have to convince the player, you have to speak to other clubs and convince yourself this is the player, so there is normally a lot of work and it will be the same to be competitive next season, while, like everybody else, tries “to close the gap to us, while the top two teams are what they are. A benchmark of consistency.”