Guardiola promised to play me – Kounde confirms talks over Manchester City move

By Daniel Lewis 23 November 2020 153
Guardiola promised to play me – Kounde confirms talks over Manchester City move

Sevilla defender Jules Kounde has confirmed he held talks with Pep Guardiola over a move to Manchester City and was offered "guarantees" over playing time.

Kounde played 40 times for Sevilla in his maiden campaign with the Andalusian side, including nine games in their victorious Europa League run.

The France Under-21s international's form saw him strongly linked with a move to City during the most recent transfer window but a deal failed to materialise.

Sevilla sporting director Monchi revealed in September his side had knocked back an offer from an unnamed club, less than a week before City signed Ruben Dias from Benfica for a club-record fee.

Kounde has helped Sevilla keep two clean sheets in his five LaLiga appearances this term but has admitted he was keen on a move to the Etihad Stadium.

"Yes, I spoke with Guardiola," he told Canal Football Club. "I had him on the phone, it went very well. We had a discussion, in Spanish, he has some words in French.

"I was interested in going. It was a super opportunity. I had guarantees around playing time, but it wasn't done. 

"They [Sevilla] could have said it was a very good sum and that they were not going to do any better, but it shows what they think of me, that I am a boy who works hard and who can improve, which is why they declined I think."

Kounde was overlooked for France's latest squad, not helped by a spell on the sidelines because of coronavirus, but the 22-year-old is hopeful of being part of Didier Deschamps' plans for next year's rearranged Euro 2020.

"My objective is the European Championships," he said. "That was the case last year before the tournament had to be postponed.

"It's something that drives me. It's something I'm going to fight for. It's something that is going to guide me every day."

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Daniel Lewis