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TRANSFER RUMOURS: Manchester United and Arsenal after Chelsea target

Geoffrey Kondogbia has drawn the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs over recent years, particularly since being in the spotlight for France at the U-20 World Cup. He scored the opening goal in France’s 3-1 win over Ghana and was named Man of the Match.

Kondogbia is a defensive midfielder and has earned caps at under-16, under-17, under-18 level and under-19 level for France, before representing them this summer at U-20 level.

Whilst Chelsea have long scouted the youngster and Jose Mourinho has become a fan since he joined Sevilla last year, both Arsenal and Manchester United have joined the race to sign him.

It will be a complicated deal for whichever club eventually manages to capture his signature though because of third-party ownership. The player is involved with the company that have just gone into partnership with David Beckham’s advisor, the Doyen Group. It is a firm of private equity investors who have been snapping up some of Europe’s hottest young talents who stumped up half of the £2.5m transfer fee to take Kondogbia from Lens to Sevilla.

Third-party ownership deals are permitted in many European countries but are strictly forbidden by the FA and Premier League.

One club has made a verbal offer of €9m (£7.7m) for the player this week but Sevilla haven’t named them.

17/6/12 – Geoffrey Kondogbia: “I would love to join the Premier League, but there is nothing concrete yet.”

17/4/13 – Jose Maria del Nido, Sevilla chief: “I love it when they talk about my players, but we aren’t going to say a word about transfers until the end of the season because we still have a chance of qualifying for Europe. If an offer in excess of €6m comes in for him, Sevilla would have to pay 50% of that offer or sell him.”

23/6/13 – Geoffrey Kondogbia: “I am flattered to be linked with Real Madrid. They are a top club, but Sevilla are fantastic for me at the moment. Chelsea are also a great team with a great manager, so let’s wait and see what will happen after the World Cup.”

29/6/13 – Jose Maria del Nido: “The bid wasn’t sufficient. The idea is that he continues growing here at Seville, just like he did last season. There exists an obligation that if a formal, written offer of over €6m arrives then we must accept it and sell him, or match it and keep half of his economic rights. But they haven’t done it in writing, which they must do.”

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