One of the most expensive signings made in the Todd Boehly era could be frozen out at Chelsea on the back of an aborted summer switch to Manchester United, per a report.
Man Utd were forced into exploring the left-back market in the final stages of the summer window after Luke Shaw picked up a muscle injury. The first credible name to emerge in their sights was Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella.
The Spaniard, 25, was a £55m signing from Brighton in Todd Boehly’s first summer at the helm. The £55m fee could eventually rise to £62m pending add-ons.
Cucurella endured a quiet first season at Stamford Bridge and the subsequent arrival of Mauricio Pochettino has seen the left-back shunted down the pecking order.
As such, a late-window switch to Old Trafford was explored and the player reportedly gave the go-ahead to moving on loan.
However, Pochettino’s curious decision to play Cucurella in the EFL Cup second round tie with Wimbledon complicated proceedings.
Players cannot play for three different clubs during a single season, meaning if he joined and then played for Man Utd, Chelsea would not be able to find a buyer in January.
While that ordinarily would not be a problem regarding season-long loans, Man Utd hoped to include a mid-season break clause that would allow them to terminate the deal early when Shaw had returned to full fitness.
In the Athletic’s words, ‘if United had wanted the option of sending him back to Chelsea in January, he would no longer have been eligible to exit and appear for a third club this season.’
Negotiations quickly broke down between the clubs, with Man Utd ultimately going on to sign Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon instead.
That’s left Cucurella fighting for his place in west London with the likes of Ben Chilwell and Ian Maatsen.
From bad to worse for Cucurella
However, according to the Evening Standard, Pochettino and the Blues could be about to make Cucurella’s underwhelming Chelsea stint even more miserable.
The outlet state Cucurella ‘faces exile after a move to Manchester United collapsed’.
If accurate, it stands to reason a January exit may be explored once the winter window opens its doors.
Elsewhere, Cucurella isn’t the only out of favour Chelsea defender battling to save his Blues career…