In pictures: West Ham v Man City
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Manchester City have reportedly settled on Marc Cucurella as the player to end their left-back woes amid a busy summer transfer window. The Spaniard has impressed at Brighton this season and was awarded their Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season awards recently.
It is well-documented that City boss Pep Guardiola is keen to add a left-back to his ranks over the summer. Joao Cancelo has thrived in the role so far this season despite naturally being a right-back, but when he has been unavailable, City’s lack of depth in the position has shone through.
And the Daily Mail report that the Etihad Stadium outfit is keen to resolve that issue by signing Seagulls star Cucurella for approximately £30million. The fullback arrived on the south coast last summer from Getafe in a deal worth £15m and has hit the ground running in the Premier League.
Cucurella has made 34 league appearances so far this season, showing versatility in how he can play as a left-back, left wing-back and a left-sided centre back in a back-three. And his ability going forward and defensively has caught the attention of Guardiola.
City have already signed Erling Haaland in preparation for next season, and the addition of Cucurella as well as a central midfielder, to replace captain Fernandinho, would certainly be classed as a successful window for City. But whether they can persuade Brighton to part ways with their new-found fan’s favourite remains to be seen.
The Athletic report that the Seagulls are ‘relaxed’ about Cucurella’s situation, given he has been linked with Tottenham and Chelsea recently as well. His contract runs until 2026 and is thought to be a central figure in Graham Potter’s plans going forward – meaning there is no urgency for the club to cash in on the defender.
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Brighton have a reputation for only allowing players to leave if the price is right. They stood firm in negotiations with Arsenal for Ben White last summer as well as when Aston Villa’s bid fell below their asking price for Yves Bissouma in January, so it is incredibly unlikely their approach will change if talks open with City unless a significant offer is put on the table.
Of course, the opportunity to play for, potentially, the Premier League title holders may be too good to pass up on for Cucurella and would certainly consolidate his claims further of why he should be in the Spain squad for the Qatar World Cup. But with that, he could be fearful of the opposite occurring if Guardiola decided to continue playing Kyle Walker and Cancelo as his first choice fullbacks next season.
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