Mauricio Pochettino has seemingly delivered a teasing message to Manchester United over their chase for Chelsea left-back Marc Cucurella.
The Spaniard only moved to Stamford Bridge from Brigton in a stunning £63million move last summer but has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot under successive managers in west London.
Cucurella did make a rare start in the Carabao Cup win over AFC Wimbledon on Wednesday night but is expected to be back on the bench again for Saturday’s Premier League visit of Nottingham Forest.
And with his opportunities few and far between, that has signalled interest from United as they look to resolve their current left-back crisis.
Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag wants defensive reinforcements brought on board before Friday’s transfer deadline due to injuries Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and Raphael Varane.
It’s claimed that talks between Chelsea and United over Cucurella actually began over the weekend, with Ten Hag confident of getting a deal done.
Indeed, Pochettino is actively looking to streamline his squad given that the Blues have no European football this season.
Cucurella‘s mood will not have been helped by him getting a frosty reception from the home fans against Wimbledon.
Pochettino cagey over Cucurella future
But when asked about the defender’s current situation after the cup win, Pochettino said: “I don’t know nothing. Maybe you know better than me.
“All the players that are involved every day in the training ground who are training with us are in our plans.
“And then, like you know, things happen because it is the decision of both parts, the player and the club, if something happens in the next few days we’ll communicate to you.”
At this stage, a loan deal looks highly unlikely, given that Chelsea would be helping a top-four rival with little in return.
A permanent transfer makes much more sense for the London side in order to balance the books, although for United their fix only needs to be temporary until Shaw and Malacia return.