Sevilla defender Jules Kounde has opened up on his ‘troubled’ summer which nearly saw him move to Chelsea but insists he is happy at the Spanish club after a good start to the season.
Chelsea approached Sevilla in the final week of the transfer window with a £43million offer for the French defender, but it was rebuffed by the Spanish club, who were holding out for a £68m fee.
The Blues did their best to raise funds for a Kounde move, selling defender Kurt Zouma to West Ham for £26m, but a second offer for the 22-year-old centre-back never came.
With reports emerging after the transfer window shut that Kounde was livid about not sealing a move to European champions Chelsea, the French defender has knuckled down with Sevilla who have made an unbeaten start to the season.
‘We all know that the summer was troubled,’ Kounde told a press conference ahead of Sevilla’s Champions League trip to Wolfsburg. ‘I wouldn’t call it complicated. But it’s in the past now.
‘I am concentrated on the team. The most important showing is the one on the pitch. The team needs me and and I also need the team to give my very best which is what I try to do.
‘Up until this point, I’m happy with the team’s results and my own personal performances, even if I can improve a little bit still and do better than last season.’
According to reports in Spain, Kounde was so angry about his Chelsea move falling through that he refused to answer the phone to director of football Monchi or his manager Julen Lopetegui.
Monchi revealed on transfer deadline day that while his side had received an offer from the Blues a week prior, it was rejected by the club.
‘The only written, formal offer from Chelsea came last Wednesday (August 25), around 5pm’, the Sevilla director of football said.
‘We weren’t satisfied with the offer, and it was linked to Chelsea selling a player. It was a decent fee but it didn’t meet our criteria.
‘We haven’t spoken with Chelsea since Friday night (August 27). We all decided that it was best Jules didn’t travel to Elche (Sevilla’s next game on August 28).
‘It’s normal for players to be affected by news of any kind. Last year he had the interest from Manchester City and now Chelsea this year.’
Kounde has been at the heart of a rock hard Sevilla defence that have only shipped two goals in six LaLiga matches so far this season.
Lopetegui’s side have won four out of their first six LaLiga games and drawn the other two, leaving them third in the table – three points behind leaders Real Madrid with a game in hand over Los Blancos.
Kounde has been ever-present for Sevilla apart from the Elche fixture he missed due to transfer speculation, with the Frenchman also playing in the club’s opening Champions League game – a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg.