Chelsea close to £50m deal for Manchester City target Marc Cucurella | Transfer period

Chelsea are nearing Marc Cucurella’s signing after telling Brighton they are willing to pay £50million for the left-back. Manchester City’s reluctance to meet Brighton’s asking price for Cucurella, who made a transfer request last week, has given Chelsea hope. Thomas Tuchel is a huge fan of the Spaniard and Chelsea scouted the 24-year-old extensively when he was with Getafe.

Cucurella, who joined Brighton last summer, is eager to develop his game and challenge for the highest honours. Chelsea have polled him and there are hopes the transfer will be approved. Brighton could ask to include 19-year-old Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill in a deal.

Tuchel wants to rebuild his defense. As well as bolstering his capabilities as a centre-back, Chelsea head coach Ben Chilwell is keen to provide quality competition on the left. Cucurella, who can play both left back and left back, is strong defensively, dynamic in possession and eager to move forward. He could also fill in as a left central defender, allowing Tuchel to place Cucurella and Chilwell on the same side.

City want a left-back but their first two bids for Barcelona’s youth product were rejected.

If Chelsea sign Cucurella, it could pave the way for Marcos Alonso to complete a transfer to Barcelona. The 31-year-old left-back wants to return to Spain. There are also doubts about the future of César Azpilicueta, another Barca target.

Azpilicueta’s situation will likely depend on Chelsea’s ability to bring in more centre-backs following the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger. They took over Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, but missed Jules Koundé, Nathan Aké and Matthijs de Ligt.

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Chelsea are interested in signing Wesley Fofana but Leicester are hesitant to sell the centre-back. It could take a bid of around £85m to bring in Fofana. RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol remains a target.

Chelsea, who also want Internazionale right-back Denzel Dumfries, could also need a second goalkeeper if they loan Kepa Arrizabalaga to Napoli. German striker Timo Werner is a loan target for Newcastle, Leipzig and Juventus. Leipzig pushes for Werner and Chelsea asks for Gvardiol in return.

Chelsea could loan out Malang Sarr with the arrival of defensive reinforcements. The French centre-back has been targeted by Fulham, but it is clear that a Ligue 1 club is leading the race to sign him.

Chelsea are close to signing 18-year-old Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina and would loan him out.

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