Interviewed Friday by the club’s communication, Monchi, the sporting director of Sevilla FC, went behind the scenes of the transfer of Jules Koundé to FC Barcelona. According to him, the French international defender was very close to signing for Chelsea at the end of last week, before the Blues decided to postpone the formalization of the transfer.
Jules Koundé at FC Barcelona, the deal seemed far from done a few weeks or even months ago. During the last summer transfer window, the French defender of Sevilla FC had already almost left Spain to join Chelsea. And this summer, the Blues returned to the charge, determined to recruit Koundé. While he was close to joining England last week, it was in Catalonia that the French international (11 caps) ended up packing his bags.
So what happened? Monchi, the sports director of Sevilla FC, answered this question on Friday during an interview carried out by the communication of the Andalusian club. And according to him, Koundé was on the verge of signing with the Blues at the end of last week. “On Thursday evening, the player was close to being sold to Chelsea. With an agreement between the clubs and an agreement with the player. But even when you have been in this environment for a long time, there are always things that surprise you” , said Monchi.
Arrived at the start of the week in the negotiations, FC Barcelona took advantage of the hesitations of the team led by Thomas Tuchel. “Doubts arose at Chelsea and last weekend everything stopped after they made a good offer,” explained Monchi, who continues: “They decided to wait and that’s what when Barcelona appeared.”
Chelsea beaten after waiting too long
In search of a central defender, Barca thought they had lost their duel with Chelsea and had considered signing Inigo Martinez as a plan B. But Mateu Alemany, the Catalan club’s director of football, contacted Monchi on Monday. “After hard work, we have reached a significant amount, the highest in the history of Sevilla FC”, describes the Sevillian sporting director.
Before the arrival of Koundé in Barcelona, whose signature should be formalized in the next few hours, Chelsea nevertheless reappeared at the last moment in the negotiations, according to Monchi: “They [les Blues] hesitated, they asked to wait for the last movements. Barca appeared, Chelsea came back, but Barca’s offer was better. We decided to sell him to the club that offered the best terms.”
According to information from L’Équipe, Koundé’s choice also fell on Barça, with Xavi assuring him to play in central defense. Thomas Tuchel, for his part, was more looking for a player capable of playing on the right side of a three-man defense and as a piston, a position that Koundé no longer wants to occupy. This is certainly why Chelsea would have decided to ask Sevilla for a few more days of reflection. Even if it means letting Koundé slip away at Barça.