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Sevilla defender Jules Kounde has reflected on his failed move to Manchester City this summer, revealing he had spoken with manager Pep Guardiola on the phone before the deal fell through.
City had made Kounde a top target as they sought out a new centre-back following some defensive struggles, with the 22-year-old flourishing for the LaLiga side and helping them win the Europa League last season.
The Frenchman admitted he was interested in a move to the Etihad and was even promised he would get regular first team football by the Spaniard before club officials ended up signing Ruben Dias in a club-record £65million deal.
'Yes, I spoke with Pep Guardiola. He had him on the telephone,' he told Canal Football Club, via Goal.
'We spoke in Spanish. Everything went well. I was interested in going there and I had guarantees that I would play. But it didn't happen.'
Kounde has insisted he is happy to remain and is now setting his sights on a spot in Didier Deschamps' France squad for Euro 2020 next summer. He is yet to pick up a senior cap for Les Bleus but has featured at U20 and U21 level.
'My objective is the European Championships. 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.'
Kounde started his career with Bordeaux having joined the French outfit as a teenager and played a total of 70 times for his boyhood side after making his debut in 2017.
Last summer Sevilla came calling as they snapped him up for around £22m and turned out to be an important member of the side as he featured 43 times - scoring two goals.
He previously said he was flattered by interest from City but was 'calm' to have stayed in Seville.
'The interest of a club like City is always a good thing, but I'm at Sevilla and I'm very calm,' Kounde told Sevilla FC TV last month.
'I'm lucky to be at a club that competes at a very good level. We have a fantastic group of players and people.'