Jules Kounde at Chelsea looked like a certainty for much of the transfer window, until the deadline.
It looked like the only obstacle was Kurt Zouma at West Ham, who crossed the line in the final week of the Summer Window.
This generated the funds for what Chelsea believed to be a £ 50million deal for Kounde – but that offer was quickly rejected by Sevilla last Wednesday.
The Blues thought they had a deal, however, athletic director Monchi had other ideas.
“It was a decent fee, but it didn’t meet our criteria,” he said.
“We haven’t spoken with Chelsea since Friday night.”
Koundé, 22, has a £ 68.7million release clause which is now Sevilla’s asking price.
Chelsea were convinced they had a £ 50million deal, until Monchi changed his mind just at the high point of the transfer window.
With the Blues unwilling to pay the full release clause, an agreement for the French defender now seems highly unlikely.
French football expert Julien Laurens told talkSPORT: “Chelsea have agreed that they are not going to pay the full release clause – and Sevilla were happy, initially, with £ 50million.
“That’s certainly what Chelsea thought.
Suddenly Sevilla thought: ‘He’s worth more than that, give us 65 or 70 million pounds!
“That’s not really the way to do business, even on deadline day.
“He missed the Sevilla game this weekend to be in Paris and ready to go to London for a medical etc. before returning to Paris with the France national team.
“There are still a few hours left, but I don’t think Chelsea will go as high as the release clause.”
This is not the first time that Kounde has been denied a big move due to his release clause.
Manchester City were interested in Kounde last summer but ended up signing Ruben Dias instead after Sevilla refused to drop below £ 68.7million.
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