Premier League • England

Real Madrid ‘quietly monitoring’ Chelsea flop who wants to quit after Pochettino showdown talks

Enzo Fernandez and Marc Cucurella celebrating for Chelsea

Marc Cucurella is keen to leave Chelsea in the January transfer window if his situation under Mauricio Pochettino does not improve, according to a report.

Cucurella has only played once since Pochettino took charge of Chelsea – and that was in a Carabao Cup game against League Two side AFC Wimbledon. He was the subject of late interest from Manchester United this summer due to an injury crisis at Old Trafford, but his compatriot Sergio Reguilon went there from Tottenham Hotspur instead.

According to The Sun, Cucurella is ‘gutted’ he couldn’t join Man Utd, but he may still have an option to leave Chelsea during the next transfer window.

After confirming the defender is ‘ready to call it quits’ at Stamford Bridge if his playing time does not pick up in the Premier League, the report claims Real Madrid are ‘quietly monitoring’ the Spaniard’s situation.

Cucurella previously developed in Barcelona’s academy and played in La Liga for Eibar and Getafe before joining Brighton in 2021 and earning his move to Chelsea a year later.

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In the summer, Real Madrid offered a lifeline to another Chelsea outcast, Kepa Arrizabalaga, by signing the goalkeeper on loan. If they feel they need more cover at left-back – where their main options are Ferland Mendy and Fran Garcia – they could raid the Blues again for Cucurella.

Any kind of move back to his native Spain may be of interest to the 25-year-old, who has approached Pochettino for clarification about his future but still feels ‘uncertain’ about his opportunities after those talks.

Pochettino prefers two other options to Cucurella

At left-back, Chelsea can also call upon Ben Chilwell or Ian Maatsen, both of whom have featured more frequently than Cucurella in the early stages of the Pochettino era.

Cucurella is still under contract in west London until 2028, but at his age will not be too keen on remaining away from the pitch for too long.

He made 33 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea last season, but failed to score and only provided two assists within his 24 outings in the Premier League.

Given the amount of money they invested in him, Cucurella has been a disappointment for Chelsea and faces a battle to prove his worth to Pochettino. If he fails to do so, his spell with the club may end after 18 months.

Cucurella’s next chance to play for Chelsea could again come in the Carabao Cup, against his former club Brighton this midweek.

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