Manchester City ready to walk away from Cucurella transfer over Brighton’s £50m price tag as Chelsea ready to hijack deal
Manchester City are ready to look at alternative left-back options with Brighton refusing to budge on their £50 million ($61m) valuation of Marc Cucurella. The Premier League champions want a new left-back after allowing Oleksandr Zinchenko to join Arsenal in a £32m ($39m) deal earlier in the summer.
City are unwilling to meet Brighton’s asking price for Cucurella and Chelsea are now being linked with a move for the 24-year-old Spaniard.
How has the interest progressed?
City wanted a left-back after playing the past few seasons mainly with midfielders Fabian Delph and Zinchenko or the right-footed Joao Cancelo in the role, with Benjamin Mendy unavailable.
Schooled at Barcelona’s La Masia academy, Cucurella was identified as the top target and is understood to prefer a move to the Etihad Stadium, but an initial offer was rejected.
He is understood to have handed in a transfer request amid City’s interest and missed Brighton’s friendly with Espanyol at the weekend, but the two clubs remain far apart in their valuations.
City have walked away from previous negotiations in the past for players, including Harry Maguire, Fred and Alexis Sanchez, while the Seagulls have no need to sell having already allowed midfielder Yves Bissouma to join Tottenham earlier in the window.
Will Chelsea sign Cucurella?
Widespread reports claim that Chelsea are willing to meet Brighton’s asking price for Cucurella, and could include teenage centre-back Levi Colwill in the deal.
Cucurella has some experience of playing on the left of a back three, and may well be used there by Thomas Tuchel if an agreement can be reached, given he already has Ben Chilwell and Marcos Alonso as wing-back options.
What are City’s left-back alternatives?
City are understood to have scouted a number of left-backs, including Stuttgart’s Borna Sosa and Wolves’ Rayan Ait-Nouri, while reports in Portugal have linked the club with a move for Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo.
However, Pep Guardiola told a press conference ahead of the Community Shield that he would be comfortable going into the new season without a new left-back.
“[Cucurella is] a Brighton player. I cannot say anything else,” the City boss said. “If it’s possible [to strengthen we will] but if not, we stay with the players we have.
“Joao can play there, Josh [Wilson-Esbrand] can play there, Nathan [Ake] can play there. I never complain about the squad I have since the first season. It is always for the benefit of the club, not for me, and I support the club.”