Chelsea have moved on to Manchester United target and Inter Milan wing-back Denzel Dumfries after failing to sign Jules Kounde, according to The Evening Standard.
Since signing Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, Chelsea have been working on a deal for Sevilla star Kounde. However, they have seemingly stopped their efforts to sign the defender.
The Blues' bid fell short of Sevilla's asking price, according to the aforementioned source. They are not willing to raise their offer for the France international, who Thomas Tuchel was initially unconvinced with.
Barcelona have thus emerged as the favorites to sign the centre-back, forcing Chelsea to look elsewhere. It has emerged that the London giants have turned their attention towards Inter right-back Dumfries.
Unlike Kounde, the Netherlands international is primarily a right wing-back. With Cesar Azpilicueta heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, acquiring a new right wing-back also appears to be on the Blues' agenda.
Kounde's ability to operate as a centre-back and right-back possibly appealed to the Stamford Bridge outfit. However, they could look to sign separate players for the two positions after missing out on the 23-year-old.
Tuchel's side recently explored a move for Inter's Milan Skriniar in an attempt to strengthen their defense, as per the report. The Serie A giants, though, prefer to sell Dumfries over the Slovakian.
Inter have already replaced the 26-year-old with Raoul Bellanova, who has been signed on a one-year loan deal from Cagliari.
Chelsea face competition from Manchester United for Dumfries
However, Chelsea are not the only club interested in signing Dumfries from Inter. Premier League giants Manchester United have also been linked with a move for him in recent days.
There have been suggestions that Manchester United could pursue a deal for Dumfries if they can offload Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer. It is unclear whether they will step up their interest in the Dutchman.
Apart from the Premier League duo, Barcelona have also been credited with an interest in Dumfries. The former PSV Eindhoven defender is thus not short of options should he decide to leave Inter this summer.
Meanwhile, the Serie A giants are said to have slapped a €40 million price tag on the wing-back. They signed the player from PSV Eindhoven for around €14 million last summer.
Dumfries made 45 appearances across all competitions during his first season at the San Siro. He scored five goals and provided seven assists in those matches.