Jules Kounde has refused to travel with the rest of the Sevilla team for their clash with Elche on Saturday as he looks to force a move away from the club this summer.
The 22-year-old has attracted interest from all over Europe in recent transfer windows, and he seems to have his heart set on a new challenge, with Chelsea leading the race to land the talented centre-back.
And El Desmarque reports that Kounde has gone one step further in his bid to force a transfer, and has refused to travel with his Sevilla teammates for their trip to Elche this weekend.
Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui also admitted that the possibility of Kounde leaving is genuine, but he backed sporting director Monchi to find a suitable replacement, should the moment arrive, as reported by Marca.
“The Sevilla coach must be prepared for all issues. These guys have their share of the market. What is going to happen I don’t know,” Lopetegui said.
“If Jules leaves we are left with two centre-backs. If it happens, we have full confidence in Monchi.
“There is little time left, and nothing is simple. Our focus is 100% on the Elche game.”
It was initially believed that Kounde had only been left out of the squad to face Elche by Lopetegui, but the latest reports that he outright refused to travel demonstrate his determination to move elsewhere.
Chelsea have long been linked with a swoop for the defender, and news that Blues star Kurt Zouma is close to a Stamford Bridge exit means Thomas Tuchel is making space for a new recruit in the squad.
The Premier League side are close to finalising a deal to sign Kounde, and for a figure much lower than his £90m release clause. The two clubs are nearing an agreement over a fee of £42.7m (€50m), and Kounde is desperate to see that transfer come to fruition.