Sevilla made a mistake in selling Coke - sporting director Monchi

Sevilla sporting director Monchi admitted that he made a mistake in selling defender Jorge "Coke" Andujar to Schalke, saying that Sevilla are losing the "heart of the team."

Coke, 29, completed the formalities of the deal with Sevilla in a ceremony on Monday before linking up with Schalke at their preseason training camp in Austria, the German side confirmed on their website. The right-back, 29, has already passed a medical and the deal was agreed for his transfer.

Since Jorge Sampaoli replaced Unai Emery as manager, the club have also sold Ever Banego to Inter Milan, Jose Antonio Reyes to Espanyol, Grzegorz Krychowiak to Paris Saint-Germain, Ciro Immobile to Lazio and Kevin Gameiro to Atletico Madrid.

Sampaoli has added eight thus far: Luciano Vietto, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Franco Vazquez, Joaquin Correa, Matias Kranevitter, Pablo Sarabia, Hiroshi Kiyotake as well as Toulouse striker Wissam Ben Yedder.

At Coke's final news conference, Monchi said: "Today is a difficult day. I have sold many players and many of the transfers cause doubt, but about this one I am sure that something isn't going well and we didn't get it right.

"I have a bad taste in my mouth because in this transfer we made a mistake, we have lost someone who is very important. We are not just losing a player, we are not losing a right-back, we are not losing a captain, we are losing the heart of the team, a player who always gave his all for the club."

Although Monchi made it clear that it was Coke's decision to leave the club, he added: "I am just going to say this. I have sold many players and many of those transfers I haven't thought much about. Coke is going to Schalke, but his effort, his smile, his happiness will all remain here with us always. We thank him for everything."

Coke, the Sevilla captain, scored twice against Liverpool in May's 3-1 Europa League final win for Sevilla, as they won the competition for a third consecutive year. In his parting words, he was emotional.

"I have had a funny feeling over the past two days, my heart doesn't feel like it is in the right place," he said. "As I have said, the career of a player is short. I feel that this is what I have to do, but it gives me great sadness to leave all this behind. I will always keep Sevilla close to my heart.

"The best moment was during the final in Basil, it is just an anecdote for me personally but I will treasure it. But there were many times on the pitch during Europa League or La Liga in which we were really having a tough time. During that adversity, we fought through and turned our situations around. That fighting spirit is what I want Sevilla to hold on to."

Argentina newspaper La Nacion also report that Sevilla are close to a deal with River Plate for veteran defender Gabriel Mercado.

Mercado had been a target for Liga MX side Monterrey but Sampaoli is reportedly paying €3 million to bring him to Sevilla in a deal to be completed on Monday, according to La Nacion.

Following Sunday's River Plate victory over Sportivo Rivadavia, Mercado seemed to confirm his exit: "I owe my career to this club. I am happy about everything I have lived through with them. We have been through many struggles over the years and I will take with me all the love from the fans. I think I left my mark and no one can take that away from me."