Monchi appears to confirm Kounde Sevilla exit with Barcelona closing in

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Sevilla sporting director Monchi has seemingly confirmed the imminent sale of Jules Kounde to Barcelona, saying the club "feel good" despite significant departures.

The LaLiga side have already sold Diego Carlos to Premier League side Aston Villa for £26million and Kounde is set to follow his former defensive partner in moving away from Andalusia.

Kounde was also highly touted for a move to Chelsea, but Barca have reportedly swooped in late to land the centre-back - and Monchi appears to have confirmed the exit of the France international.

"When the two best players leave a team, the challenge to replace them is not easy, but we feel good about this," he told the Daily Mail.

"We really trust [Julen] Lopetegui, our manager, because we sell players, but we are sure the players we sign will be better."

Barcelona's deal to sign Kounde is understood to be worth around €55m, giving Sevilla significant funds to land replacements - and they have already signed Brazilian Marcao from Galatasaray.

Sevilla's hunt for further additions will see them continue to utilise a data-led approach that has previously seen them recruit the likes of Dani Alves, Ivan Rakitic and Jesus Navas but they have had to adapt their ways in recent years, with other clubs following their lead.

"Many years ago, we started to do things differently, but other teams started to do them, too. We wanted to do something different again and data gives us two main things. It reduces the error factor and the time for decision-making [in recruitment]," he explained.

"In the past, what we had to do was look at 300 players, but today with data, maybe that is reduced to 30 with the right characteristics and you can watch them all. You reduce the time and you reduce the error."

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