Chelsea clear major Cucurella hurdle with agreement confirmed, as Man City shift sights to lively Prem alternative

Marc Cucurella, Brighton, May 2022.

Chelsea have reached an agreement over personal terms with Marc Cucurella, while Man City’s attention could now turn to a promising alternative from Wolves, per reports.

Cucurella, 24, is attracting interest from two of the Premier League’s biggest hitters. Man City sought to sign the Spaniard once Oleksandr Zinchenko completed his move to Arsenal.

However, their initial £30m bid was well below Brighton’s £50m valuation. Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano subsequently reported City were unwilling to stretch beyond £40m.

That left the door ajar for Chelsea who have wasted little time in pouncing.

Indeed, talks between the Blues and Brighton opened on Monday and per Romano’s latest update, a breakthrough has quickly been forged on the player’s end.

The trusted journalist tweeted a ‘full agreement’ has been reached regarding personal terms. The potential contract has been approved and Cucurella is ready to accept Chelsea’s offer once Brighton accept Chelsea’s bid.

On that front, Sky Sports recently reported Chelsea are willing to match the full £50m valuation. A deal therefore looks highly likely to be made.

Young Blues centre-half, Levi Colwill, could yet be included in negotiations. The 19-year-old excelled on loan with Huddersfield Town and could sweeten the deal for Brighton.

However, it’s not yet clear whether that would be a loan or permanent deal, or indeed, whether that would be part of the Cucurella framework or a separate affair entirely.

City scouting Cucurella alternatives

Regardless, Cucurella looks on course to join Chelsea and that will leave Man City scrambling for alternative options. At present, they only have two senior, recognised full-backs on their books – Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo.

On that front, Goal list three potential options, one of which is Wolves’ Rayan Ait-Nouri.

The France Under-21 international shone down the left side at Molineux last season. He bagged one goal and four assists from 23 league appearances and heavily favours the attacking half of the game.

Goal state he – along with Stuttgart’s assist king, Borna Sosa – have both been scouted by City.

Reports in Portugal have also linked Pep Guardiola’s side with former Arsenal target Alex Grimaldo.

Guardiola comments just a bluff?

On the subject of full-back depth, Guardiola suggested City won’t splash the cash unless the right player is available. And given their Cucurella stance, they also don’t want a deal to be a bank breaker.

That led to the Spanish boss claiming he could finish the summer window without having signed a new full-back.

He recently said on the subject of left-back depth: “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.”

However, City lose potency going forward when Nathan Ake is deployed at left-back. Josh Wilson-Esbrand, meanwhile, only has one senior appearance to his name, coming in the league cup.

The margins between City and Liverpool in recent times have been razor thin. Another hotly-contested title race is expected and an injury or two to Walker or Cancelo could be fatal to their hopes.

As such, it appears highly unlikely City will conclude the window without making a new addition at full-back.