Man Utd sizing up TWO Chelsea stars to solve problem position; deal for £62m star far likelier

Chelsea left-backs Marc Cucurella and Ben Chilwell

Man Utd could sign one of two Chelsea left-backs this summer

Manchester United WILL sign a new left-back this summer and Chelsea pair Marc Cucurella and Ben Chilwell are both on their radar, while a report has revealed which of the two is far likelier to join the Red Devils.

The left-back position has posed a problem for Erik ten Hag all season long. Luke Shaw has been limited to just 12 league appearances through injury, while Tyrell Malacia has not played a single minute in any competition this term.

Concerns over injury absences prompted Man Utd to sign Sergio Reguilon on loan from Tottenham last summer. However, Reguilon was sent back to Spurs in January before quickly agreeing a new loan deal with Brentford.

But with Shaw and Malacia unable to get fit, Ten Hag has resorted to playing the likes of Diogo Dalot, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and even Sofyan Amrabat in the position since the turn of the year.

United have shipped 56 goals in the league this term and major changes to their rearguard are coming.

Raphael Varane’s exit as a free agent was confirmed by the club on Tuesday morning. Jonny Evans is also on course to leave when his contract expires this summer.

Over in the troubled left-back position, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has already declared a new signing will be made.

Now, according to journalist and Chelsea specialist, Simon Phillips, Blues pair Cucurella and Chilwell are in Man Utd’s sights.

Chelsea will seek a permanent buyer for Ian Maatsen who is currently loaned to Borussia Dortmund. However, Phillips stated one of Chilwell and Cucurella can leave as well.

Man Utd leaning towards Cucurella after 2023 near miss

Of the two, it was revealed a move for Cucurella is far likelier. Explaining why, several reasons were cited, beginning with Chilwell’s chequered injury record.

The 27-year-old has been limited to just 43 Premier League appearances over the last three seasons. Understandably, Man Utd harbour doubts over the player’s availability in future years.

Cucurella, meanwhile, was targeted by the Red Devils when seeking loan cover last summer. He and Reguilon emerged as the leading contenders to solve Man Utd’s crisis, though United pulled the plug on Cucurella’s deal after a curious decision made by Mauricio Pochettino.

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Cucurella played his first match of the season in Chelsea’s EFL Cup second round victory over Wimbledon on August 30.

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 new buyer if he was returned to the club in January.

If United had wanted the option of sending Cucurella back to Chelsea in January, he would no longer have been eligible to leave the Blues once again and appear for a third club this season.

Man Utd only required short-term cover while Shaw and Malacia were sidelined and as such, insisted on including a break clause that would activate ahead of the winter window.

Chelsea rejected the demand in the knowledge they’d then be unable to find a club willing to either buy or loan Cucurella in January. Indeed, why would any club pounce if Cucurella was ineligible to play until next season?

The end result saw Reguilon snapped up, though Phillips reports Man Utd have reignited their interest in Cucurella.

The Spaniard would represent the safer option for United between he and Chilwell and is also the man the Red Devils are prioritising.

Cucurella cost the Blues £55m (rising to £62m through add-ons) when signed from Brighton in 2022.

The 25-year-old hasn’t enjoyed the best of times at Stamford Bridge, though Cole Palmer aside, very few of Todd Boehly’s signings have.

A fresh start at Old Trafford where he may well beat out Shaw for the starting role could await.

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