Sevilla chief Monchi has claimed that he had to give defender Jules Kounde time to get over his failed summer transfer to Chelsea.
The Blues were one of the quieter clubs as regards arrivals in the recent window. Nevertheless, one of their two acquisitions – and fellow target Kounde – had sizeable fees. Romelu Lukaku cost £97.5million and Chelsea thought they had a deal for Kounde at £50million.
However, Sevilla sporting director Monchi then changed his mind. Instead, he demanded the centre-back’s release clause, which stands at £68.7million.
Chelsea subsequently walked away from the France international and kept their current defensive options.
Still, reports this week have detailed the fall-out from the transfer saga. Fellow Sevilla defender Diego Carlos insisted that Kounde got over the failed move more or less straight away.
Kounde himself echoed his centre-back partner, labelling the last few months a “lively” summer. But according to Monchi, the 22-year-old needed time to “mourn”.
“Sometimes things have to be given normality,” the director told Estadio Deportivo.
“We have all handled the issue in the best way, respecting Koundé, because I have been a footballer, but giving him time so that he could do his own mourning.
“It was a question of time, and thanks to everyone, the issue is back on track.”
Kounde played the opening two La Liga games of the season, before the final days of the transfer window. He was then absent for the next two.
Still, he has returned to play every minute in a hat-trick of league matches, helping to keep two clean sheets to boot.
Kounde opens up on transfer saga
The centre-back said: “As always. We all know it was a lively summer. Now it is over.
“I am concentrating on the team, on what I have to do.
“The team needs me and I need the team to perform at our best.
“At the moment, I am happy with the results, with how I am playing, though I have a lot of room to improve and to have a more complete season than last season.”
Kounde ended last term on a strong note, culminating in his first major tournament with France at Euro 2020.