Sevilla director Jose Maria Cruz de Andres has admitted that Diego Carlos wanted to join Newcastle back in January, but the La Liga side refused to let him go midway through the season.
Carlos was among Newcastle's top targets for the first transfer window under new ownership and personal terms were agreed with the centre-back, who wanted to make the move but was met with fierce resistance from Sevilla.
Speaking to Sport Witness, Cruz admitted Sevilla were not upset to have missed out on some extra money as the extra six months they got from Carlos were invaluable.
"We received a good offer in the winter market from Newcastle for Diego," Cruz said. “At that time, the player and the agent were very interested in the offer because it was a very good offer for them in terms of time of employment and salary for the player, and commission for the agent.
"We received a good offer from Newcastle, from a financial standpoint. But the problem was it was in the middle of the season and Carlos was very, very important at that time for us. We had no chance to replace Carlos [in January]. We had been suffering a lot during the season with many injuries, especially defenders.
“At the time, we were competing to win the league and had a chance to win the Europa League again, after being eliminated from the Champions League. The main reason to not accept the [Newcastle’s] offer was that it was not at the proper time.
"At the end of the season, we received a new offer from a different team. It was probably better than the first one for the player.
“He told us that we said it was not possible to sell him in the winter market, but we didn’t promise to sell him in the summer. We told them that when the season finishes, we will surely analyse offers. There was an offer and this is the reason for selling Diego Carlos, because we didn’t need to sell Carlos to balance the books.
“We wanted to keep Diego Carlos with us, but we understand that a player like Diego, 29, 30 years, it was a very good opportunity, probably not sporting wise, but in terms of money. We respect that because we understand that Diego has played very well for us.”
Newcastle eventually settled on Dan Burn from Brighton, and six months later, they remain in pursuit of a new big-name defender.
Lille's Sven Botman, another January target, remains towards the top of their wish list but Newcastle find themselves in a real battle with AC Milan for the Dutchman's signature.