Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City identify fearsome Cucurella alternative who Chelsea and Leeds both turned their backs on

Stuttgart full-back Borna Sosa

Man City have identified an assist machine Leeds and Chelsea opted against bidding for as an alternative to Marc Cucurella, and the bargain fee he’ll command has been revealed.

Man City could soon have an opening they must fill in their full-back ranks. Oleksandr Zinchenko looks on course to become Arsenal’s fifth summer signing. A £30m fee has been agreed and discussions over personal terms are reportedly underway.

If the Ukrainian does leave, Pep Guardiola will remarkably be left with just two frontline full-backs – Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo.

Brighton’s Marc Cucurella has repeatedly been named as Guardiola’s No 1 target if Zinchenko leaves. CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs reaffirmed the Spaniard is City’s priority target.

However, Brighton are expected to hold out for around £50m. While Man City have the financial muscle to make a deal of that size, whether they will is another matter entirely.

Indeed, City’s spending this window has been more measured as they aim to implement a more self-sustaining model.

The likes of Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips and Julian Alvarez have arrived. Though the combined fees for those three are dwarfed by the £131m they have generated from player sales this summer.

A cheaper alternative now in City’s sights, according to Jacobs, is Stuttgart’s Borna Sosa.

Borna Sosa a perfect fit?

The Croatian left-back, 24, has developed a reputation as an assist king in recent years.

He is capable of operating either as an orthodox left-back or wing-back, though his attacking output remains fierce from either position.

Indeed, Sosa provided nine assists in just 30 matches across all competitions last year. The season prior he returned 10 assists in 28.

His appearance tallies have been hampered by injuries, though when fit, he is as potent going forward as they come.

Jacobs tweeted Stuttgart are open to cashing in on Sosa this summer to the tune of £20m. If a concrete bid is lodged, the Bundesliga side won’t stand in his way.

Borna Sosa had reportedly been scouted in the past by Leeds United, Wolves and Chelsea, along with Borussia Dortmund from Germany.

However, Jacobs concluded none of the interested parties saw fit to act on their interest with a firm bid. Their loss could wind up being Man City’s gain.

Man City must act

Very few areas of City’s squad can be labelled understrength. However, in terms of numbers alone, full-back is one of them.

Walker is now 32 and will begin to struggle to play three times a week as City’s hectic schedule often demands.

Cancelo is the starting left-back despite being right-footed, though also serves as the back-up right-back.

An addition on the left side therefore makes more sense than the right. And with Zinchenko heading for north London, a spot will soon open up.

Who City will sign to fill the void will become clear in due course. However, if Zinchenko does depart, the chances of a new arrival being sanctioned look exceedingly high.