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Chelsea move to hijack Marc Cucurella deal

Brighton's defender Marc Cucurella

Chelsea are in talks to hijack Man City’s attempts to sign Marc Cucurella and have told Brighton they will meet their £50m asking price, according to Jacob Steinberg.

Cucurella has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City this summer but so far City have failed to reach Brighton’s £50 million valuation. The Cityzens are standing firm on their offer worth £40 million and do not plan on improving their current offer.

Fabrizio Romano reported earlier that Chelsea had moved to try and hijack City’s attempt to sign Cucurella. The Italian says the Blues are looking to include Levi Colwill in the deal and will make a contract offer to Cucurella soon.

Now, Guardian journalist Steinberg claims that Chelsea have entered direct talks with Brighton and told them they are willing to meet their £50m asking price to sign the Spanish full-back.

Cucurella has had an agreement with City over personal terms for a few weeks and submitted a transfer request to try and force through a move to the Etihad. However, an agreement between the Sky Blues and Brighton has proven difficult and now Chelsea have made their move.

The Blues are looking to revitalise their defence this summer following the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta has also been tipped to leave the club this summer. Therefore, the German tactician will field an entirely new backline next season and Cucurella is now the latest entrant in his wishlist.

The West Londoners have already signed Kalidou Koulibaly and will look to strengthen their defence further. And, with Jules Kounde snubbing a move to Stamford Bridge in favour of Barcelona, Cucurella seems to have emerged as a priority target for Chelsea.

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It will be an important deal for Chelsea should they get it over the line. It is imperative that they have quality options at the back, given Ben Chilwell and Reece James’ recent injury woes. Cucurella was the player of the year for Brighton and he enjoyed the best season of his career last term.

The 24-year-old is a versatile defender but is predominantly a left-back. That said, he can also play in the heart of the backline and in the midfield. While his versatility is certainly a bonus for any manager, it is his playing style that is even better.

Standing tall at 172 cms, the La Masia graduate is fairly adept at winning the aerial duels. And, if that is not enough, he is exceptional at winning the ball back and can also provide the attacking impetus needed to thwart the opposition or catch them on the break.

He would add depth and quality to Tuchel’s left defensive flank but would be competing with Ben Chilwell for a spot in the line-up. Therefore, it remains to be seen if he would be open to competition.

In my opinion, Cucurella would prefer a move to City, given that they have just lost Oleksandr Zinchenko. He would slot right into Pep Guardiola’s XI but it all depends on the Manchester side and whether they can match Brighton’s valuation for the talented full-back.

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