Del Nido's Baptista fear
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido seems to be resigned to losing Julio Baptista.Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido appears to be resigned to losing Julio Baptista and has hit out at the player's agents for engineering a transfer.
The Brazil international has been the subject of a bid from Arsenal and has also been linked with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in recent weeks.
Del Nido has held out hope that the player may be persuaded to commit his future to the Spanish club but has now been advised by his directors, who have been in talks with the player's representatives, that he has no intention of signing a new deal.
Sevilla know that they risk losing Baptista next summer after the introduction of Fifa's new ruling allowing a player over 23 to leave a club after three years for a fee that could be decided by a tribunal.
The Andalucian outfit's president is clearly unhappy that the player's agents have had a hand in welcoming lucrative offers from The Premiership.
"We are not the ones that have put Julio Baptista on the transfer market," he said. "That was done by the player and his representatives.
"The situation is clear and if he does leave then we will act quickly to bring in a player that can score the same number of goals.
"In 20 years of being in charge I have never known a player that wants to leave a football club that has not left.
"But nothing has changed since last week. Baptista has begun pre-season training with us and there have been no new offers."
Del Nido is worried that Baptista's agents could attempt to force the club to accept an offer that they want, rather than one that is in the best interests of the club.
"I hope that that does not happen and that they do not try and make us take a deal that we do not want, simply because it may be the best for the career of the player."
Despite Del Nido's fears, Baptista confessed this week that he may well stay at the club for another season in order to gain a European passport.
"My agent and I are clear on what is important and that is to have an EU passport," he said.
"I have just one year to go before I stop being a foreigner. I need to remain here one year longer in Spain and after that I will think about what to do."