According to Ramón Verdejo, Sevilla’s director of football, Chelsea withdrew their offer for Jules Kounde, allowing FC Barcelona to pounce.
Barcelona announced on Thursday that they had agreed to sign France international Kounde from LaLiga rivals.
The centre-back, who has been a standout performer for Sevilla since joining in 2019, is expected to cost up to 55 million euros (56 million dollars).
Only last week, the 23-year-old appeared to be on his way to English Premier League (EPL) club Chelsea, who had agreed a fee with Sevilla.
However, Verdejo, also known as “Monchi,” has stated that the Blues opted out of the arrangement due to “doubts.”
“Kunde was’sold’ to Chelsea on July 21,” he told Sevilla’s club media. “They began to have doubts and withdrew.” Then came FC Barcelona. On Monday, [sporting director Mateu] Alemany made the first contact.
“We received a lower-than-expected offer, but we renegotiated with them and reached an agreement for a club-record sale.”
Verdejo went on to say that Chelsea later returned with another bid, but it fell short of FC Barcelona’s offer.
Kounde had previously been linked with Manchester City in 2020, while Chelsea had an approach turned down last year, and Monchi explained that Sevilla felt it was the right time to let the player go.
“This would have been the third time we’d said ‘no,'” the former goalkeeper explained. “He’s a professional, but you also have to consider him as a person.”
Sevilla now enters the 2022/2023 season without their regular starting center-backs, Kounde and Diego Carlos, who have both left for Aston Villa.
Last season, Julen Lopetegui’s team appeared capable of mounting a title challenge in LaLiga, but ultimately finished fourth as Real Madrid cruised to victory.