Tuchel thrilled with goal for Lukaku on second Chelsea debut
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Chelsea may have failed to sign Jules Kounde but it will serve them better in the long run in the transfer window. Manchester United went a similar road when they brought in Harry Maguire and have been paying for it since.
Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia is renowned for her ability in the transfer window, demanding high fees for players but also cutting down costs.
That was more than evident over the past two months where the Blues sold off a number of fringe players for a lot of cash.
The likes of Tammy Abraham, Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma all brought in over £100million – paying the Romelu Lukaku fee and even leaving a bit of change.
While Granovskaia also stood firm in her pursuit of Saul Niguez, insisting on an option to buy rather than an obligation – which is what Atletico Madrid wanted – and she got her way.
But the Kounde saga has shown another side to the Russian when things do not go so swimmingly after a done deal appeared to be all but confirmed.
A verbal agreement had been put in place that would see the Frenchman sign for Chelsea in a move worth around £52m.
A remarkable piece of business, considering Sevilla had rejected much more from Manchester City in the past.
But at the last moment, the club’s transfer chief Monchi demanded a further £13m – taking the deal to £65m – Kounde’s release clause.
Chelsea never spoke to Sevilla again after that, effectively killing the deal, as confirmed by the former AS Roma director.
“The only formal offer from Chelsea came last Wednesday,” Monchi said.
“We weren’t satisfied with the offer, and it was linked to Chelsea selling a player. It was a decent fee but it didn’t meet our criteria. We haven’t spoken with Chelsea since Friday night.”
Kounde is a remarkable talent and has been called one of the best defenders in La Liga and many Chelsea fans are unhappy with the manner in which the transfer broke down.
But Granovskaia is no fool and has the long-term in her sights, knowing that paying more now would only lead to trouble down the road.
A lesson might have been learned from the Maguire situation at United, who had tried to sign him from Leicester in 2018 only to be told he would cost £65m.
The Old Trafford supremos failed to adhere to then-manager Jose Mourinho’s wishes and refused to sign him but a year later, it became apparent that his services would be required.
However, the price had changed – Leicester now wanted £80m – and that fee was paid up with maybe a few United bigwigs turning in embarrassment.
Ever since, the Red Devils have been given inflated transfer demands with clubs now asking for more money than they would have done for others – simply because they know that they can get more from United.
Granovskaia will never be taken for a ride and Sevilla upping their demands at the last moment was never going to sit well with her.
If United had such a negotiator in their ranks at the time, things might have gone differently for them.
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