Thomas Tuchel wants to bring in a new left-back this summer (Pictures: Getty Images)
Chelsea are keen to sign Brighton defender Marc Cucurella this summer but have been told they will have to stump up a massive fee for the 23-year-old, according to reports.
As soon as the west London club’s sanctions are lifted, Thomas Tuchel is keen to move aggressively and quickly in the transfer market and wants to significantly bolster his back-line.
Both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen will leave the club on free transfers when their contracts expire, joining Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, but they may not be the only defenders to leave Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are prioritising a move for centre-back Jules Kounde (Picture: Getty)
Cesar Azpilicueta also has interest from Barca and would be keen to return to Spain after a decade at Chelsea, while Marcos Alonso could also leave the club this summer with the Catalan giants also interested in signing him.
While Tuchel will prioritise bringing in two new centre-backs – Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol are the club’s top targets – the left-back position is also an area that needs addressing.
If Alonso leaves, that will leave only Ben Chilwell to cover the role but the England international will be returning from a serious knee ligament injury and Chelsea want to treat him with caution and care.
Cucurella has emerged as the player Chelsea would most like to get their hands on to replace Alonso, though The Sun report that they have been quoted a mammoth £45million price tag by Brighton.
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The Spaniard, a former Barca academy player, only moved to Brighton last summer from Getafe in a £15m deal but has impressed enormously in his first season in the Premier League.
As well as being able to provide cover and competition for Chilwell in the left wing-back role, Cucurella can also play on the left side of a back three – doing so several times for the Seagulls this season, particularly in the second half of the campaign.
Unfortunately for Chelsea they are not the only club interested in signing Cucurella, with Manchester City and Tottenham also big fans of the Spaniard.
Man City may have an edge over Chelsea in the race for Cucurella (Picture: Getty)
With Chelsea still restricted from making a move, City are thought to have stollen a march on their rivals and the left-back has even suggested it would be very, very difficult to turn down a move to the Etihad.
Speaking to Spanish show Jijantes FC, Cucurella said: ‘The goal [at Brighton] was to develop so the big clubs can take notice. But if the opportunity arises, you have to take advantage of it. There are teams that you can’t say no to.
‘No, sincerely no [Pep Guardiola has not called]. Of course, there are rumours. If people are talking like this about you, it’s a good thing. We’re calm; the most important thing right now is to rest.’
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