Premier League • England

Man Utd, Real Madrid intentions become clear after Chelsea say yes to star’s humbling January sale

Enzo Fernandez and Marc Cucurella celebrating for Chelsea

Chelsea are open to cashing in on an expensive Todd Boehly signing in January, and how Manchester United and Real Madrid will respond to the decision has been made clear.

It’s been another stuttering start for the Blues this term despite further colossal spending over the summer. Chelsea have picked up just five points from a possible 18 in the league, though they have successfully navigated the second and third rounds of the EFL Cup.

One player whose only appearances this term have come in the cup competition is left-back Marc Cucurella.

The 25-year-old cost £55m (rising to 62m through add-ons) when plucked from Brighton in the summer of 2022.

Cucurella endured an underwhelming first season at Stamford Bridge and has tumbled down the pecking order since Mauricio Pochettino took charge.

The Argentine favours either Levi Colwill or Ben Chilwell for the left-back role. The presence of Ian Maatsen also complicates Cucurella’s position at Chelsea.

Now, according to ESPN, Chelsea are prepared to cut Cucurella lose when the winter window opens its doors.

It’s claimed the Blues would prefer a permanent sale, though a loan for the second half of the season looks the likelier outcome.

Man Utd won’t reignite interest; Real Madrid eyeing loan

Man Utd were in talks over signing Cucurella on loan as the summer window wound down. Injuries to Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia forced United into exploring the left-back market late on.

However, Pochettino’s decision to select Cucurella in the League Cup clash against Wimbledon resulted in talks breaking down.

Players can only represent two different clubs during a single season and Man Utd wanted a break clause included in any loan deal for Cucurella.

As such, if Cucurella played for Man Utd and Chelsea, he’d then be ineligible to play for a third team later in the campaign. That would’ve meant Chelsea would’ve been unable to find a buyer in January if United activated their break clause mid-season.

United ultimately signed Sergio Reguilon from Tottenham instead, leaving Cucurella stranded at Stamford Bridge.

ESPN state that with Reguilon impressing in the early going, United have no intention of reigniting their interest in Cucurella.

Instead, a surprise switch to Real Madrid via the loan route has been touted in Spain.

What’s more, the prospect of returning to his home country – even if it’s only on loan – is said to appeal to Cucurella.

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