Sevilla president Jose Maria Del Nido has admitted that Sevilla could be forced to negotiate the sale of sought-after midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia this summer.
Kondogbia, 20, joined Sevilla from Lens in July 2012 and has since impressed with his physicality and technical ability, attracting reported interest from many of Europe’s leading clubs, including Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Juventus, Milan and Inter Milan.
The player’s future is complicated by third-party investment fund The Doyen Group having financed his €3 million move to Andalucia last summer, and by his current club's much publicised financial woes.
Del Nido told AS that he would not be forced into any sale, but the agreement with the investors did mean that if an offer was made of more than €6 million, Sevilla must stump up more cash to keep the player.
"From €6 million we are obliged to negotiate for Kondogbia. If anyone reaches that figure, we must equal it to buy the other 50%,” Del Nido said. “I am happy that there is talk about my players and that other clubs want them.
“The owner of 100% of the player’s rights is Sevilla and, as we are not going to talk about the subject, nobody can talk about signing him without Sevilla’s permission. Furthermore, he has four-and-a-half years left on his contract.”
The Spanish media have this week strongly suggested that Real Madrid currently head the queue for Kondogbia, with club president Florentino Perez apparently seeing him as a potential replacement for Xabi Alonso.
Alonso, 31, has just over 12 months left on his current contract and has yet to begin discussions on a new deal. Perez flew Kondogbia’s father, who also acts as his agent, to Madrid by private jet recently to discuss a potential move, according to radio show El Larguero.
The France Under-21 international, who came through the Lens youth set-up alongside Madrid defender Raphael Varane, told L’Equipe in early April that he was not letting the mounting speculation affect his performances.
“This happens to many other players too,” Kondogbia said then. “I do not like to look too far ahead. I am just concentrating on the next game, and do not want to get distracted with these things.”
Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido has suggested regularly that Sevilla, who are about €100 million in debt, will need to raise money this summer by selling players. Given Kondogbia’s links with The Doyen Group will affect how much the club earn from any sale, other stars such as Alvaro Negredo - who also has links with the group - and Ivan Rakitic could leave the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan.