It wasn’t so much a look as Chelsea had second thoughts, claims Sevilla sporting director Monchi in an interview/PR exercise that tells their version of the Jules Koundé saga, which ended (or is about to end) with the 23-year-old. -old signing for Barcelona after almost signing for Chelsea last summer and for Manchester City the summer before that.
While this smacks of Monchi and his club trying to save face after reinvigorating a division rival, if we take it at face value, it also sounds like Chelsea developed actual doubts about whether Koundé is someone we really need. Whether it is in light of giving someone else the opportunity – Colwill? Azpilicueta? — or have another transfer target in mind — say Škriniar, say Škriniar — I guess we’ll have to wait and see to find out.
It’s a long interview, but here are the relevant bits:
“There were more suitors for Koundé at the beginning of the market than at the end, and above all the one that has remained is Chelsea, who for the last month have kept us busy and negotiated to the point that last Thursday we reached a verbal agreement and that so did the player.”
“Football never ceases to surprise you. Chelsea began to have doubts and pulled out. They didn’t doubt Jules’ quality, but his place in the squad.
“Everything came to a standstill over the weekend and then Barcelona turned up. It is important to mention this, but the first time Alemany made contact was on Monday. He showed his interest in signing Koundé.
“We got an offer that was lower than what we had in mind, but we renegotiated with them and came to an agreement on a club record sale” […] It was a very good offer, and without payments to intermediaries. Whether we like it or not, the market sets the guidelines and dictates the prices. The offers we had two years ago from Manchester City, last year from Chelsea and this year from Manchester City and Barcelona were for the same amount.
“On Thursday evening, Koundé was ‘sold’ to Chelsea, for a fee accepted by all parties. They began to doubt and withdrew. Because of situations that sometimes arise, no matter how long you’ve been in this world, there was a certain movement at Chelsea that made them doubt whether they needed a player with Kounde’s profile.
“They waited a bit, and that wait continued until Barcelona appeared. Chelsea came back again, but Barcelona’s offer was better. When you have two options on the table, you play with them and the player was happy to go to Barcelona, with better conditions for our club.
– Monchi; source: Sevilla FC
I still wish them nothing but slow Wi-Fi and itchy feet.