It has seemed for some time as if this would be the summer that Jules Kounde departed Sevilla and vice-captain Ivan Rakitic has all but confirmed the rumours.
Kounde was initially left out of Sevilla’s squad to travel to Portugal for a preseason camp, but in the end decided to travel with the squad. Speculation is reaching fever pitch that Kounde will move to one of Barcelona or Chelsea. Rakitic, speaking to Mediaset, was not for being coy about the situation.
“We are speaking with him in order to make things normal. What exactly are we going to say to the boy, he doesn’t. He needs a bit of larking around with us. We are grateful that he came with us, we all know his situation, you don’t have to be a genius, so we have to give him plenty of love.”
Marca reported his comments, with the Croatian sincere about the reality of Sevilla and their transfer strategy. He may also have hinted at Kounde’s next destination.
“The sale of Diego [Carlos] was very significant, [we have to] congratulate the club once again. Let’s see what happens with Jules, but it shows the club is doing things very well. It’s normal that we cannot compete with the strength of the Premier League, you have to understand that. Sevilla has always been like that, it’s good for the players, for the club, and you have to give those who arrive all your affection so that they can do things as well as possible, like Diego or Jules.”
Rakitic’s words suggest that Kounde may be about to swap La Liga for the Premier League, rather than head to Barcelona. However in the context of Diego Carlos’ sale, it could have been a more general point too.
His statements do however show the maturity of Sevilla when dealing with larger fish pursuing their stars. As someone who has been at the centre of such a move himself, few are better placed to comment on the matter.