Kurt Zouma’s determination to stay at Stamford Bridge is reportedly causing Chelsea problems in their pursuit of Jules Kounde.
The Blues have identified Kounde as a top target to improve their defence this summer.
The talented 22-year-old could become Thiago Silva’s long-term successor, once the Brazilian decides to hang up his boots.
But it was knocked back by Sevilla as they rate Kounde as one of the best centre-backs in Spain.
The La Liga side are holding out for €70m (£59.7m).
Zouma also rejected the chance to join Sevilla as he is settled in London and wants to fight for a starting spot under Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea tried to offload him to West Ham soon afterwards, but the Frenchman once again revealed his desire to stay.
According to The Guardian, Zouma’s stance has caused Chelsea’s bid to sign Kounde to stall in the past few days.
They are at an impasse as they are refusing to meet Sevilla’s hefty asking price.
They also want to offload Zouma before bringing in a new defender.
Zouma made 36 appearances in all competitions last term, helping Chelsea to win the Champions League and reach the FA Cup final.
He scored an impressive five goals in the Premier League, with four of those coming before the turn of the year.
But Chelsea officials view defence as one area that needs improving if Chelsea are to challenge Manchester City for the title.
Kounde is one of the best defensive prospects in the world and could help them to reach the next level.
Former Chelsea man Frank Leboeuf recently described the player as a ‘warrior’.
“He’s a fantastic player,” Leboeuf said. “He has everything. He is a warrior. He never gives up. He has everything. He is the future for sure.
“Maybe it’s an opportunity for Chelsea to get him maybe not this season, but next season.
“I don’t know what Kounde wants to do in his life, if he’s ready to be on the bench more than he thinks he will be. It’s up to him. It would be a good signing for Chelsea.”