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Sevilla president Joan Castro warned Chelsea they do not need to sell prized defender Jules Kounde, after refuting any suggestions the club is “broke”. Thomas Tuchel’s side appeared to be in the final stages of signing the French defender for around £50million towards the end of the summer transfer window.
They were so confident in signing the 22-year-old defender, they even sold his international compatriot Kurt Zouma to West Ham for around £30m to trigger the move.
However, the La Liga side surprised Chelsea at the last minute by demanding the Blues to pay his £68.7m release clause.
Astounded by the sudden change of heart from the six-time Europa League winners, Chelsea walked away the table and entrusted academy starlet Trevoh Chalobah to fill the void left by Zouma.
Sevilla have been very vocal in their explanations as to why the deal fell through when it appeared to be at the final hurdle.
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And club president Castro has become the latest official to speak about the deal; warning Chelsea and other admirers of Kounde that the club does not need to sell the Frenchman.
“To say that the club is broke is ridiculous,” Castro said to AS.
“Last season we had a surplus, after a season without season tickets, without ticket sales.
“The deficit would have been resolved by selling Kounde and we showed that we are economically powerful and we will not accept €50m.
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“To say that Sevilla is broke is to not have affection for the club.”
Castro’s confident assertion was in response to comments from former Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido, who reportedly suggested the club was suffering financially.
The football world was mildly baffled by Sevilla’s rumoured acceptance of Chelsea’s £50m offer as they had allegedly rejected a higher offer from Manchester City for Kounde in the previous season.
But the selling of Zouma to West Ham further personifies Chelsea’s confidence in bringing Kounde over to Stamford Bridge.
After the move failed to materialise, Sevilla sporting director Monchi was quick to clarify their reasoning as to why the move did not go through.
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“Yes, there has been interest from a club that the player liked, which was Chelsea,” Monchi said, as quoted by Spanish journalist Orgullo de Nervion.
“The first formal offer we received was an amount that did not satisfy our requirements and conditional on Chelsea selling a player.
“We responded with a counter-offer that had an expiry date. To the first offer for Koundé, we answered with an idea of our own.”
“Everyone looks after their own interests, and the club has respected one hundred per cent when there has been interest from other teams, and the player didn’t think it was convenient.
“Koundé’s clause has never been 90 million euros, but 80 million euros.”
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