Arsene Wenger looks set to miss out on yet another transfer target, with reports in Andalucia suggesting Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia is close to joining Monaco.
Recently capped France international Kondogbia, 20, is one of Europe’s hottest properties this summer, and has been linked with a long line of clubs including Real Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and Napoli.
Reports in the UK on Monday suggested that Wenger was considering whether to firm up his long-standing interest in the player. However, Estadio Deportivo claims that Monaco had stolen a march and made an official €13.5 million bid for the player, who is part-owned by investors the Doyen Group.
The big-spending Ligue 1 outfit are expected to have more success should they return with a bigger offer even though Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido told Estadio Deportivo on Tuesday morning that Kondogbia was happy at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan and would only leave should a club meet his reported €20 million release clause.
“Sevilla will not negotiate for a possible sale of the player, as we do not want him to leave,” Del Nido said. “Lots of offers have come in, the latest was for €15 million, which we turned down. Either they pay €20 million, or they pay €20 million."
Del Nido made similar claims in early August, however widespread reports claim that it is Doyen which has the final say in whether to accept any deal due to his 'complicated' ownership situation.
Del Nido suggested that it might be in everyone's interest for the former Lens player to spend another season at Sevilla, and be sold for an even higher fee in the future.
“I hope and wish that he stays,” Del Nido said. “We believe that he can keep improving here.”
Kondogbia, who helped France win the World Under-20 Cup this summer, was a substitute in his club’s 3-1 opening weekend La Liga defeat to Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
After that game Sevilla coach Unai Emery said he hoped to hang onto the box-to-box midfielder but could not be sure what will happen.
“We want him to stay,” Emery said. “We have [no] intention of selling him. We have spoken with him and he likes it at Sevilla, although if an operation satisfactory to everyone arrives then he could leave.”
Monaco have close links to the Doyen Group, with whom the big-spending Ligue 1 side reportedly dealt when signing Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid for €60 million in June.