City offered Sevilla €55m for their 22 year-old centre-back only for the Andalusian club to reject the offer. Kounde’s release clause is said to be €80m, and his contract at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan runs until the summer of 2024. City instead signed Portuguese centre-back Ruben Dias from Benfica for a fee close to what they offered Sevilla for Kounde.
“Yes, I spoke with Guardiola by phone,” Kounde said to Canal Football Club. “We did it in Spanish. It went went and I was interested in going there, as he had given me guarantees that I would play. But in the end it didn’t happen.”
Considered to be an essential part of both the French U21 side and Sevilla, Kounde has developed into a fine defender. Mature beyond his years, an intelligent ball-winner and well-able to progress play into the middle third, he’s blessed with a skillset invaluable to every modern top-level coach.
Born in Paris to parents of Beninese descent, Kounde began has career coming through Bordeaux’s youth system, making his senior debut for their first team aged 19. He signed for Sevilla in a deal reportedly worth €25m just under two seasons later, lifting his first trophy, the Europa League, with the Andalusian club.
Sevilla travel to Russia on Sunday to face Krasnodar on Tuesday in the Champions League. Sevilla sit second and are unbeaten in Group E, level on points with Chelsea and six clear of third-placed Krasnodar. The Andalusians are currently seventh in La Liga.
Featured image courtesy of Diario AS.