Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are plotting moves for long-standing Chelsea transfer target Jules Kounde, according to reports. There could be a Premier League battle to sign the Sevilla centre-back over the next 12 months.
Chelsea were expected to complete a deal for Kounde in the closing weeks of the summer transfer window.
But a late disagreement with Sevilla over his fee broke down talks and denied Thomas Tuchel a marquee acquisition in defence.
Chelsea weren't willing to stump up their offer to meet the 22-year-old's £68.5million (€80m) release clause and walked away from the negotiation table.
Tuchel will still hold a firm interest in Kounde but could face competition from rivals close to home.
According to Transfer Market Web, Arsenal and Tottenham are two of several clubs that intend to challenge Chelsea for the signing of Kounde.
But the France international's desire to regularly play in the Champions League could rule the north London duo out of the running
Sevilla won't be under pressure to sell any time soon, given Kounde's contract expires in 2024.
However, next summer, Chelsea could target him as their main signing and cough up the £68.5m club president Monchi demands.
Tuchel recently confirmed Chelsea's failed pursuit of Kounde but insisted he was happy with his current options.
He told reporters: "I assured everybody that I'm also happy if we cannot bring a player in.
"We will find the solution within the squad. We will push players within the squad.
"But it was clear we tried for Kounde and Saul and it was very, very late, but it was a very, very smooth transfer window because I had full concentration on training and on my team."
Tuchel's is unsurprisingly happy with his current defensive options, which have been formidable since he replaced Frank Lampard as boss last season.
This season, the Blues are yet to concede a goal from open play in the Premier League and Champions League and still have their unbeaten record intact.
Tuchel has used Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and club captain Cesar Azpilicueta as his first-choice back three this term.
He also has Thiago Silva and Trevor Chalobah to choose from, with central defence being one of many areas in which he has a wealth of options.