Sevilla keep Jules Kounde – but defender’s future still not certain

In the end, Monchi held firm, and Sevilla didn’t bend to the wishes of another Champions League giant hunting for players.

The Sevilla director had explained the day before that Jules Kounde wouldn’t leave unless Chelsea met his release clause, and by the afternoon it was pretty clear that wasn’t happening.

It leaves Sevilla looking much stronger – although perhaps still short at the back. Their season now suddenly has huge potential again, although it’s a problem that will arise again.

Chelsea will be watching closely, knowing that Kounde wants the move, to see how he develops. By demanding suitors pay his release clause, Sevilla maximise the money they get – but they also remove themselves from negotiations. Instead of being able to strike a bargain, they risk a player who wants to be elsewhere leaving for less money further down the line.

Next summer – or perhaps even in January – Chelsea and others will be back, and Monchi’s work will begin again.