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Thursday May 9 2013
Sevilla’s summer sales

Sevilla are set for a nervous summer transfer window. David Cartlidge explains why they will be eager to not pay too high a price in expected sales.

Only in December, Sevilla announced losses at the club for the first time in 10 years, amounting to just over €15m – this contributed to a final total of €49m debt. Then there was the issue of refinancing debt with the staff at the club, including players, who were owed significant sums of money. It was galling knowing this for fans alone, but made even more sickening by the fact Jose Maria del Nido refused to accept accountability and the reality of the situation. The reality is Sevilla needs to sell - who is what they must decide.

All signs point to Alvaro Negredo at this time, who in 40 games this season in all competitions has notched 28 goals. In the League he’s managed to score 20 of Sevilla’s 52 goal total, taking in 38 per cent of the work. It would seem on the surface that selling the Spanish international would be ill advised, but such is his premium he remains the most sensible option. No-one on the team currently holds a better market value, and at 27, he remains appealing despite a high price. There is the issue of his intermittently good performances too, and that his goals disguise the fact although a good striker on his day, Negredo is no Radamel Falcao. Take Negredo’s efficiency in front of goal - while Ruben Castro has scored three goals fewer, it has taken him 72 shots on target to find that total. The Sevilla man meanwhile is in the hundreds, 132 to be exact. With a bit more astute work in the scouting department he could be replaced, be it with a single striker or a pair to make up for the lost goals. The attacking area is particularly weak for Sevilla, and upon selling Negredo they could invest half his fee into replacements.

Reports recently stated that the goal is for Sevilla to raise €30m this summer, and in Del Nido’s mind that would ideally be through a single player sale. The reality, which Del Nido again seems to overlook, is that it will take several sales. His pricing of Negredo is something around the €20m+ mark, a quite extravagant fee for a less than remarkable player. There’s no reason why Negredo could go, and then Fedrico Fazio with him plus various other fringe players. The Argentinean central defender is another who has been long linked with a move, and with his frailties in defence it would be no severe loss for Sevilla.

There are several players ready to make the jump including Juan Cala, who at 23 has time on his side, while Israel Puerto’s jump from Sevilla’s Atletico subsidiary is long overdue. Such is the growing interest in Geoffrey Kondogbia, and the fact he’s part of a third party ownership deal with the Doyen Group, will make negotiating his stay at Sevilla very difficult. The chase is continuingly increasing for the Frenchman and it’s inevitable his release clause will be touched upon. It stands at €20m, but if a bid of €8m or over is made and Doyen chooses to accept, then Sevilla must match it or lose the player. The latter is a formality in these harsh times for the Andalucians. No longer can they compete with the weight of Europe, in wages, in transfer fees and finally on the field.

Two players that should be retained are Ivan Rakitic and Jesus Navas, arguably the two best players at the club this season. These two are the dynamic of the team and in the case of Navas, one of the few last remnants of heart and soul that exists. He’s the local boy playing for his local team, and with Sevilla so devoid of spirit at times it’s essential he stays to instil the values of the club into the next generations. Think Ryan Giggs at Manchester United. The Croatian meanwhile is the legs and brains of the team, no matter who is put in attack he’ll be sure to find them.

The sales are soon to begin but as Del Nido says, it will be at a premium, and Sevilla will hope that in this market they’re not the ones paying the price.

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