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Sevilla chief José María Cruz has opened up on why they decided to not sell Jules Kounde to Chelsea last year.
Kounde, 23, was heavily wanted by the Blues to provide more quality and depth to Chelsea's defence and appeared that Thomas Tuchel would get his transfer target as the summer window went on after the arrival of club-record signing Romelu Lukaku.
Sevilla rejected a strong bid from Chelsea, one their sporting director, Monchi, found hard to turn down due to the figures involved however it didn't meet their valuation.
He told Canal Sur Radio: "The proposal for Kounde last summer was great, the most important we received in our history - but it wasn’t meeting our price tag."
Chelsea are back for round two this summer and Cruz believes Chelsea are in a better position of landing the France international this summer, with Kounde their number one defensive target, comparing his situation to that of Diego Carlos who joined Aston Villa.
“The case with Jules Kounde is very similar to the case of Diego Carlos. Not in the timing because we received offers for Jules Kounde in the last two seasons but always in the summer market," Cruz told Sport Witness.
“We have rejected because we thought that this player can improve his performances. It was better to wait because the market at the time was depressing. We thought that waiting a while would (help us) obtain more money.”
Kounde is believed to be eager to leave Seville for England and London this summer after last year's collapse. Cruz insists the 23-year-old is happy in Spain but is aware the central defender wants to play in a more competitive team than Sevilla, which could aid Chelsea's pursuit if both parties push for a transfer in the coming weeks and months,
Cruz added: “Again, the player, I am sure, respects Sevilla FC. He is happy with us. In the case of Kounde, it is not a matter of money. It’s a matter of him wanting to play in a more competitive team than Sevilla FC.
“I am sure he is a player that is attractive for teams like Chelsea, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and these types of teams. He wants to play in a more competitive team.
“It’s the same case we had some years ago with (Clement) Lenglet. He was very happy, but he thought after playing some years at Sevilla FC, he was prepared to go to FC Barcelona.
“The first time we received an offer for him was a season before he was transferred. He (Lenglet) and his father told us they didn’t to leave Sevilla then because they preferred to stay here and play a lot of matches."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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