Sevilla president Jose Maria Del Nido has said he has rejected a €9 million offer for Geoffrey Kondogbia, but could still be forced to sell because of the French midfielder’s complicated ownership situation.
The 20-year-old – a reported target for Arsenal and Real Madrid - joined Sevilla from Lens last summer for around €3 million, with half of that fee reportedly paid by third-party investor the Doyen Group, which has a share in a number of clubs' most valuable assets.
Rojiblanco chief Del Nido has attempted to play down fears they could lose the player on the cheap, according to a report in El Diario de Sevilla headlined ‘Kondogbia and the fear of Doyen’.
“We have rejected an offer a week ago for Kondogbia, which tripled the cost of the player when he arrived at Sevilla,” he said.
“Our idea, in principle, is that the player remains to grow with us, as he has done this season.”
He said the offer had been verbal, and therefore did not trigger a clause in the initial purchase arrangement which says Sevilla must compensate Doyen by buying the player outright if they want to reject any bid of over €6 million.
"Kondogbia’s purchase contract contains an obligation for Sevilla that, if a written formal offer of €6 million or more arrives, either we match it or the player must be sold,” Del Nido explained. “But it [the recent offer] was not put in writing.”
Diario de Sevilla claimed “you do not have to be a mind reader” to know it was not in Doyen’s interest for the bid to be put in writing, because Sevilla could then pay a relatively low fee - maybe €4.5 million - to gain 100% of Kondogbia’s rights. The player, who has been likened by some to a young Patrick Vieira or Yaya Toure, is worth a lot more.
Meanwhile, Del Nido has continued to maintain that Sevilla will not be forced to “undersell” star striker Alvaro Negredo, another player whose name appears on the Doyen website.
Negredo, believed to favour a move to Atletico Madrid has told Sevilla he wants to leave - but fans were assured he would be going nowhere unless someone met his €20 million-plus price tag.
“He has a long contract with Sevilla, and my wish is for him to stay,” Del Nido said.
“We are not going to undersell any player, and Negredo is no exception. If we are offered what we are looking for, then he will go. If not, he stays. At the moment there are two offers on the table, and neither satisfies the club.”