REVEALED: Chelsea’s bizarre transfer strategy saw them pull out of a big-money deal for Jules Kounde after he was already ‘sold’… only for Blues to change their minds and bid LESS than Barcelona
Barcelona announced they had finally struck a deal to land the highly-rated French defender after a long-drawn out tale that initially saw Chelsea as one of the favourites to seal his signature.
And now Monchi has pulled the curtain back on a baffling chain of events, claiming Kounde was close to arriving at Stamford Bridge before Chelsea chiefs pulled the plug – then changed their minds – before Barcelona swooped.
Sevilla boss Monchi has pulled back the curtain on Jules Kounde’s bizarre transfer saga after agreeing to sell him to Barcelona
‘This would have been the third time we’d have told him no. He’s a professional but you have to consider the person as well.’
‘On Thursday night Koundé was ‘sold’ to Chelsea. They began to have doubts and pulled out. Then Barcelona appeared. The first time Alemany got in contact was on Monday.’
‘We received an offer that was lower than what we had in mind, but we renegotiated with them and reached an agreement for a club-record sale.’
Kounde had been linked to a move to Chelsea, but the Blues interest fluctuated over the saga
‘Chelsea came back again, but Barcelona’s offer was better.’
The defender is thought to have always preferred the Catalan giants to Chelsea.
It will come as a blow to the Blues, who have lost Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger in recent months. They have brought in Kalidou Koulibaly as a replacement but will still be keen to strengthen further.
For Sevilla, losing such a key player will not be as much of an issue as it might have been given the Moneyball-esque tracking system they have been using to scout new players.
Barcelona swooping for Kounde is likely to further anger Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel
The club’s head of data, Elias Zamora, spoke to Sportsmail earlier about a system that monitors 40,000 prospects aged 15-18 in 35 leagues worldwide, wherever Sevilla can obtain data.
He said: ‘The goal is to identify players in a wide spectrum of competitions who are developing themselves fast, who should attract the interest of our scouts.
‘The difference in identifying a player when he is 18-years-old compared to when he is 21-years-old and established is €20million.’