French defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia is the subject of interest from clubs across Europe ahead of this summer’s transfer window, and a move from hard-up Sevilla looks increasingly likely, says Dylan Fahy
Sevilla President Jose Maria del Nido was coy when quizzed on the future of Geoffrey Kondogbia in a recent interview with Marca. However, his confirmation of whispers that the Andalusian outfit would have to fork out half of any offer they receive for the Frenchman to retain him – the club are not in full possession of his economic rights – sparked a surge of reports of interest from European heavyweights.
The combative defensive midfielder signed for Sevilla last July from a team with a reputation for producing talent such as Abel Taarabt in Lens, then competing in Ligue 2. He has since flourished at the back end of this, his debut season in Spain with commanding displays in marshalling the middle of the park for Unai Emery’s side, after a distinctly slow start to life at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Born to Congolese parents, Kondogbia grew up outside Paris and represented US Senart-Moissy and FC Nandy before joining the famed Lens academy at the age of 10. His early coach Eric Assadourian described him as a mature player, as he broke into the first team at 17 and became a pillar of the squad. Sevilla signed him for €4m two years later, as Juventus was one of several clubs closing in on a move.
The 20-year-old has slotted in superbly alongside Gary Medel for the Rojiblancos with clear technical qualities and a powerful stature for all to see. Having represented his country from Under-16 to Under-21 level, Kondogbia has been vying for a place in Didier Deschamps’s senior side with his performances of late in La Liga. He has become an integral part of the starting eleven in a remarkably short period of time.
Marca and AS have persistently linked him to Real Madrid, with Gazzetta dello Sport one of many championing a move to either AC Milan or Inter Milan. Around the rest of Europe, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are favourites for his signature. A transfer looks imminent in the summer due to the reality of Sevilla’s financial situation and pressure from part owners Doyen Group – a Malta-based group.
Kondogbia has been compared at length to a similarly styled midfielder and former Manchester United man Paul Pogba. The pair certainly looks set to be mainstays at international level for France for many years ahead at their current rate, but it remains to be seen if Sevilla’s unearthed gem follows his fellow countryman to Juventus, elsewhere in Italy or another European destination this coming summer.