Seville sporting director Monchi claims Chelsea missed out on Jules Kounde to Barcelona because of their own doubts over a transfer.
Barca swooped in ahead of the Blues to agree a deal to sign Kounde yesterday for €50m with personal terms and a medical not expected to be an issue.
Chelsea apparently almost signed Kounde last summer but they failed to agree on a transfer fee with Sevilla, despite Kounde being keen to move.
After being priced out a year ago, it had seemed like Chelsea were making strides towards winning the battle for his signature this summer until Barcelona swooped in late to seal a deal
And Sevilla director Monchi has revealed that the Blues actually managed to derail their own transfer chances after putting a potential deal on ice earlier in the market.
“Chelsea kept us locked in talks for the past month and both us and the player reached a verbal agreement with them last Thursday,” Monchi said.
“But at the last moment, when everything seemed to be sealed and agreed, Chelsea had a few doubts on the movement that would have caused in their squad, and if the type of player that they needed was actually a profile like Jules Kounde or someone else.
“Talks stalled at the weekend, and even though they put in a really good bid they preferred to wait, which is totally logical and normal. During this hard bargaining, [Barcelona sporting director] Mateu Alemany manifested their interest for the first time on Monday.
“We asked them to make a bid and their first one fell short of what we were expecting. But after working on it, also thanks to an important effort from Barcelona’s side, we got to a very important figure which makes up the record sale in the club’s history.
“Chelsea then returned to the table, but eventually we accepted Barcelona’s bid because it was better than Chelsea’s. Eventually, we sold the player to a club which he is happy to go to, while Sevilla were able to get the best possible terms.”
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is still looking to bring in at least one more centre-back this summer having lost Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona on free transfers.
They have brought in Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who has been one of the best defenders in Serie A for years, while they continue to be linked with Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana.