Manchester City tabled a “magnificent” bid for Jules Kounde over the summer, Sevilla director Monchi admits, but the Blues missed out on a deal because their offer still fell short of the 21-year-old’s valuation.
Pep Guardiola made the acquisition of defensive additions a top priority during the summer transfer window.
With questions asked of the centre-half options at his disposal, movement in and out of the Etihad Stadium was set in motion.
Nicolas Otamendi was among those to depart, paving the way for Nathan Ake to be snapped up from Bournemouth.
One deal was not enough for City, though, and they pushed hard to buy into the potential of Kounde before eventually settling on a £62 million ($81m) deal for Portuguese star Ruben Dias.
Benfica saw their ranks raided after Sevilla made it clear to a Premier League heavyweight that they would not be bowing to pressure and parting with a promising Frenchman for less than his full value in the present and future.
Monchi told El Desmarque when explaining the decision to shun a big-money approach: “We did what we thought was fair and in defence of the interests of the club, also in an ambitious way, because many people would have chosen to accept that offer.
“We value pros and cons and believe in the player, that has been key. We believe in the projection of a 21-year-old boy with a lot of ground to make up.
“Despite being a magnificent offer, very, very good, it did not satisfy the requests or what we thought of the player.
“Perhaps it was not what he was worth, because possibly that offer was close to what he was worth at that moment but we also have to think about what he can be worth [in the future].”
Kounde could have been forgiven for having his head turned by the interest shown in him by City, but the talented youngster has knuckled down in Spain and ignored the hype he continues to generate.
Monchi added: “He has been professional. Sometimes we are so used to seeing less professional behaviour that we are struck by the normal.
“He has accepted with normality that he has signed a contract, with a clause and some payments. I appreciate that because it’s always easier when the other party understands your position.
“He has had a professional and respectful behaviour with the club that has given him the opportunity to take another step in his career.”