In what has been an exciting and busy transfer window, another unexpected saga is now at the forefront of all gossip.
Marc Cucurella’s future is the subject of huge speculation, with the Brighton full-back heavily linked with a move to Manchester City earlier this summer.
But a lack of progress in talks between the Premier League champions and the Seagulls has seen Chelsea enter the race for the 24-year-old.
And it looks like the West Londoners will make it clear to their man that Chelsea are willing to pay the Seagulls the £50million asking price for the player.
A year ago it would have seemed crazy to see two of the Premier League’s biggest clubs in a tussle for the defender who plied his trade at La Liga side Getafe until deadline day in the summer 2021.
But Cucurella’s impressive form last season saw many heads turn in his direction. So why all the fuss?
Marc Cucurella Brighton stats 2021/22
Chances created: 3rd
Successful tackle: 3rd
Success in duel: 4th
The stats show he’s an assured defender, but it’s what he offers in the future that undoubtedly gives him an edge.
Cucurella created 40 goalscoring chances from open play in the Premier League last season, more than any other Chelsea player except Reece James (42).
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Stats don’t paint the full picture of a player’s performance – one goal and one assist all season isn’t exactly a sparkling comeback for a modern full-back.
But any Brighton fan will give a rave review when asked about Cucurella’s performance last season, which culminated when he scored in the Seagulls’ 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United, the goal making player an emotional figure.
Cucurella himself probably couldn’t have imagined having to choose between City and Chelsea, but comments previously made by the player suggest he would snub both teams in the blink of an eye for Barcelona, where he started his career.
Cucurella, who has just one senior Barca appearance under his belt, told Spanish publication Sport in November 2021: “At the end of the day, I’ve been there for many years at Barca and we could say that it It’s my house and my family or that of my wife, who is from Barcelona.
“I have a thorn in my side because I made my debut for the first team but I was never able to play at the Camp Nou and I think it’s something I would like to do before I retire. or quit football.”
With Chelsea already missing Robert Lewandowski, Raphinh and Jules Kounde, they will beg Barca not to make an 11-hour bid for their former player.