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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 11, 2013

Sevilla president: We need Europe

Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido has said the club must qualify for Europe to avoid the prospect of top players, possibly including Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo, leaving in the summer.

The Andalucians are currently 10th in the Primera Division but only three points off a Europa League qualification spot because of Malaga's UEFA competition ban.

They are also heavily in debt and have struggled to pay players' wages and other costs on time this season, with Emir Spahic sold to Anzhi Makhachkala in February for €4 million to help make ends meet.

Del Nido, 55, told Sevilla's TV channel that, if further departures were required, fans should remember that the club had sold star players before and still gone on to be successful.

"We must make it into Europe," he said. "We have no choice about that. If we do not, we will have to sell some players, which will provoke some discontent. But we managed when players like Sergio Ramos, [Julio] Baptista or [Jose] Reyes left in the past."

Asked whether local hero and captain Navas or top scorer and reported Spurs, Everton and Atletico Madrid target Negredo could be among those on the market, Del Nido said: "Everyone has their price.

"Anyone could leave. At every game, the biggest sporting directors are here to watch [Negredo]. I am just thinking about him achieving a big goals tally. Speaking about sales can destabilise the squad."

The lawyer said a favourable fixture list and an upturn in form since Unai Emery arrived as coach in January were reasons to be optimistic.

"The team must face five opponents ahead of us in the table, three of them at home," he said. "Emery's statistics are outstanding. If we keep going like this at home, we will be on the right path. But we need to win away, too.

"How better to start than on Friday [against city rivals Real Betis, who are six points ahead of them]? We will face a team who, up until now, have shown they are better than us.

"They are in a good moment. But we are also in good form. Our objective is not to catch them, but to qualify for Europe. If we lose on Friday and win our other seven games, we will do that - but of course winning on Friday would help."

Del Nido said that, although players may leave, he would not be ending his ten-year connection with the club.

He added that he was sure his appeal against a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence, imposed for fraud in December 2011, would be successful.

"I have at least ten years left here, I am sure," he said. "About my sentence, I am very little concerned. I know it will all come out well."

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