The Jules Koundé saga had a somewhat surprising outcome this summer, when the 22-year-old’s expected transfer to Chelsea, which was widely reported to be just about done, came to not pass after all, when all was said and actually done.
While the narrative says that this was due to Sevilla suddenly raising their asking price, their club president claims a more noble purpose, namely sporting ambition. José Castro has explained that even though he could’ve literally wiped out his club’s debts by agreeing to the €50m transfer, he instead chose to make his team better by keeping Koundé.
“We are the second team with the highest salary cap capacity.
“It is clear to that we are coming out of a pandemic, and this year, there was no other option but to give a negative financial result. There have been no season tickets, no tickets and no bars. Marketing and television have suffered.
“Even so, with Chelsea’s offer of €50m, the deficit was over. That speaks of the strength of the club. I don’t know how many teams in Spain would say no to €50m from Chelsea and maintain this deficit, considering that the squad is worth €400m.
“The deficit comes from the pandemic, but also from choosing to build a stronger squad rather than sell in the last two markets. That’s called ambition, and sometimes to have ambition you have to have a deficit. It’s OK.”
Bold moves, and perhaps risky, though considering that Sevilla had a €55m offer Manchester City the year prior for Koundé as well, they’re likely to be able to cash in eventually. (Perhaps Chelsea again next summer?)
Until then, on the sporting ambition side, Sevilla are just a couple points off the top of the table in what’s looking like a very open La Liga title race so far. So perhaps they will have their cake and get to eat it, too.