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

Chelsea are closing in on signing Marc Cucurella after telling Brighton they were ready to pay £50million for the left-back. Manchester City’s reluctance to meet Brighton’s asking price for Cucurella, who submitted 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 widely while at Getafe.

Cucurella, who joined Brighton last summer, is keen to develop his game and challenge for the top honours. Chelsea have sounded him out and there are hopes the transfer will be agreed. Brighton could ask for 19-year-old Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill to be included in a deal.

Tuchel wants to rebuild his defense. As well as bolstering his options as a centre-back, the Chelsea manager is keen to offer Ben Chilwell some quality competition on the left. Cucurella, who can play as a left-back and a left-back, is strong defensively, dynamic in possession and keen to go forward. He could also play as a left centre-back, allowing Tuchel to integrate Cucurella and Chilwell on the same side.

City want a left-back, but their first two offers for Barcelona’s youth product have been turned down.

If Chelsea sign Cucurella, it could pave the way for Marcos Alonso to complete his move to Barcelona. The 31-year-old left winger wants to return to Spain. Doubts also hang over the future of César Azpilicueta, another Barça target.

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

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

Chelsea, who also want right-back Denzel Dumfries from Internazionale, may also need a No.2 keeper if they send Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan to Napoli. German striker Timo Werner is a loan target for Newcastle, Leipzig and Juventus. Leipzig are pushing for Werner, with Chelsea asking about Gvardiol in return.

Chelsea are close to signing 18-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina from the Chicago Fire and would allow him to return on loan.

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