Chelsea could have slipped into the Liverpool transfer trap, putting their title ambitions in jeopardy.

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Chelsea could have slipped into the Liverpool transfer trap, putting their title ambitions in jeopardy.

Chelsea were unable to sign Jules Kounde before the transfer deadline.

Chelsea were unable to sign Sevilla’s Jules Kounde before the transfer window closed on Tuesday night, owing to the Blues’ apparent unwillingness to pay the player’s £68 million release clause.

Chelsea had been pursuing the defender throughout the transfer window, and a deal to bring him to Stamford Bridge seemed likely.

However, Sevilla refused to bend on their asking price, and the Blues’ efforts were turned down since the player remained in Spain.

Chelsea made an offer last week, but it was insufficient to sway Sevilla’s decision.

Sevilla sporting director Monchi said, “We weren’t satisfied with the offer, and it was tied to Chelsea selling a player.”

“It was a reasonable fee, but it didn’t match our requirements.”

Chelsea approved a deal for Kurt Zouma to join West Ham in the final days of the transfer window.

Under Thomas Tuchel, the France centre-back had fallen down the pecking order and was judged surplus to needs.

Chelsea have now left themselves exposed at the back, according to former England manager Sam Allardyce.

“They wanted to sign Kounde because you let Zouma [go]and didn’t replace him,” Allardyce told Sky Sports News on Wednesday morning.

“[Tuchel’s] success was built on a defensive characteristic that Frank [Lampard] was unable to find.

“With the exception of Man City, they probably had the best defensive record during his tenure. How will they cover in the defensive area if they have a few injuries?”

Tuchel has favored a three-man defense with wing-backs on either side since taking over at Chelsea.

Tuchel started the season with Antonio Rudiger, Trevoh Chalobah, and Andreas Christensen at the center of his defense against Crystal Palace.

In Chelsea’s last two games, Cesar Azpilicueta has started over Chalobah, while Thiago Silva came off the bench against Liverpool last time out after Reece James was sent off.

Tuchel appears to have plenty of defensive alternatives, but his team will shortly begin defending their Champions League title, which means they will be playing two games every week for the majority of the season.

Silva, who is 36 years old, will not be able to play two games each week, and Azpilicueta, who is 32 years old, may have to limit his playing time.

If one or more of Chelsea’s younger centre-backs sustains a serious injury during the. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”

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