Chelsea talks with Brighton over a move for full-back Marc Cucurella are now at the ‘advanced’ stage with the Blues willing to meet Brighton’s demands for the Spain international.
The Blues have long been tracking Cucurella, who came through the Barcelona academy and impressed at Getafe before joining Brighton in 2021.
Brighton are understood to be holding firm on a £50million valuation for Cucurella, which is thought to have stalled a possible move to Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola a big admirer of the 24-year-old.
Chelsea are continuing to reshape the squad under new owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, with manager Thomas Tuchel understood to remain keen on two further defensive recruits.
The Blues are also thought to harbour strong interest in Leicester’s Wesley Fofana, though prising the France star away from the King Power Stadium outfit will prove a tough ask given the Foxes’ £70m valuation.
Cucurella is thought to be open to a Chelsea move, with the one-cap Spain star having already expressed his desire for a fresh challenge amid the extended Manchester City interest.
Seagulls boss Graham Potter insisted last week that Cucurella was “happy” to remain with the club, but the left-back handed in a transfer request on Friday to force through a move away.
Cucurella may at that time have assumed he would be off to City, before Chelsea hijacked the transfer.
Sky Sports now claim talks over a deal for Cucurella have reached an ‘advanced’ stage and that Chelsea are willing to meet Brighton’s £50m demand.
Fabrizio Romano’s latest update added Chelsea are ‘confident’ over reaching an agreement with Cucurella. Seemingly, his desire to join Man City above all others can be overcome and a contract proposal is now being prepared.
Chelsea have already pulled off big-name signings in Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly but are determined to add further new faces to the squad.
Kepa Arrizabalaga could yet head out in the other direction however, with Napoli understood to be continuing to push hard to strike a loan deal for the Spanish stopper.
New recruit Koulibaly will wear the 26 shirt at Chelsea this season, and has revealed he sought John Terry’s assent to take the former England defender’s number at the west London club.
Koulibaly posted a video on social media of his phone call to Terry, to ask for the ex-Chelsea captain’s blessing to take the number he wore at Stamford Bridge with such distinction.