Chelsea are making rapid progress in their attempt to snatch Marc Cucurella from the clutches of Man City, while a £120m pair could soon make way on loan, per reports.
Cucurella has quickly become a man in demand following a superb debut season at the AMEX. The Spaniard was the subject of a £30m bid from Man City and handed in a transfer request on Friday in an attempt to push a deal through.
However, Brighton value their versatile left-back at the £50m mark. Per Fabrizio Romano, City are unwilling to go beyond £40m.
That’s left the door ajar for Chelsea to pounce, and per the Daily Mail, they’re about to do just that.
They reported Chelsea have opened talks with Brighton, something that was backed up by both Romano and David Ornstein.
The Mail claimed Cucurella had his heart set on working with fellow countryman Pep Guardiola at the Etihad. The inference there was Chelsea may find it difficult to convince Cucurella to move even if they did meet Brighton’s valuation.
However, fresh updates from both Romano and Sky Sports have painted a very positive picture for the Blues indeed.
Firstly Sky state talks over a Cucurella deal are now ‘advanced’. Furthermore, Chelsea are willing to pay Brighton’s full £50m price tag.
Romano had suggested young Chelsea centre-half, Levi Colwill, could be included in negotiations to sweeten the deal. Sky’s reporting suggests that won’t be required. Either that, or a Colwill move will be an entirely separate affair.
Romano’s latest update added Chelsea are ‘confident’ over reaching an agreement with Cucurella. Seemingly, his desire to join Man City above all others can be overcome and a contract proposal is now being prepared.
Chelsea tracking two others besides Cucurella
Aside from Cucurella, Romano confirmed Leicester’s Wesley Fofana and RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol remain firm targets.
Regarding the latter, the transfer guru added Chelsea made fresh contact with their German counterpart on Sunday to discuss Gvardiol.
The possibility of a swap or cash-plus-player deal was floated, with Timo Werner an option to sweeten the deal. Indeed, Romano stressed new Blues owner, Todd Boehly, is ‘ready to let’ the £47.5m signing leave on loan.
His inclusion could twist Leipzig’s arm over Gvardiol who they’ve been extremely reluctant to part ways with so far.
However, Werner might not be the only high profile buy to leave via the loan route.
Sky Italia reported Napoli are in talks over the loan acquisition of £71.6m goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Spanish stopper, 27, is firmly behind Edouard Mendy in the pecking order and the Blues are close to wrapping up a deal for impressive American youngster, Gabriel Slonina.
Kepa’s long-term future clearly lays away from Stamford Bridge, though his short-term outlook appears bleak too.
The report claimed Chelsea are willing to pay three quarters of Kepa’s salary to help grease the wheels with Napoli.
As the trade-off, Chelsea are reportedly demanding a series of unspecified bonuses be included. Napoli are currently reluctant to agree to them, with intermediaries hard at work finding a compromise.
Better late than never for Chelsea
Chelsea’s two major signings thus far – Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling – are both top tier additions. However, the general consensus is that Thomas Tuchel’s side remain short.
Making additions this close to the new season starting is far from ideal. However, the only thing less ideal is not making them at all.
If Chelsea do get two of Cucurella, Gvardiol and Fofana over the line, their defence will be comfortably able to cope with the losses of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, and potential exits of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta to Barcelona.
Aside from Man Utd and Frenkie de Jong, Stamford Bridge looks the place to watch in the coming weeks in the market.