Brighton & Hove Albion are desperately trying to get Marc Cucurella to remain at the club amid interest from champions Manchester City, claims a report.
The 23-year-old left-back only arrived last summer from Getafe on a contract until June 2026. Brighton triggered his £15.4m release clause, but it proved money well spent as he swept the boards at the player of the year awards.
The Etihad club have yet to make an official bid, but speculation has been raging over the last few months and Brighton have moved to improve the player’s terms.
According to The Atheltic, the club are discussing improved contract terms with Cucurella.
Those discussions with the player’s representatives are only “at a preliminary stage”. But the club know they risk losing the Alella-born defender.
Brighton owner Tony Bloom has admitted the club will not stand in Cucurella’s way. Although Bloom is thought to have placed a price tag of £50m on the player’s head, the equivalent money that Arsenal put up for Ben White last season.
“Marc is a tremendous player, a tremendous person,” Bloom told BBC Radio Sussex: “He’s brilliant for the dressing room.
“He was unbelievably good last season, his first season in the Premier League. We’re hoping for more to come and we haven’t had a bid for him.
Cucurella likely to double his money
“We’ve got to be realistic if a certain bid comes in and the player wants to move, the player will move, but we are not anticipating, we’re not looking for our best players to move on.
“If it happens and we get a bid then we have to consider it. But until that point, we carry on.”
Brighton will have to at least double his reported £50,000 a week wages with Man City hovering.
Oleksandr Zinchenko is considering his future at The Etihad. And Guardiola wants a left-footer so that Joao Cancelo can revert to playing on the right.
Guardiola is said to be driving City’s pursuit. And according to Fabrizio Romano, an offer was set to arrive last month.
City though may well have been put off by the asking price. However, they are understood to still be interested in the former Barcelona man.