Chelsea are close to signing Marc Cucurella for a fee of £52.5million and are in advanced negotiations to sell Levi Colwill to Brighton.
Figures close to the Cucurella deal are adamant that the transfer will now go through, with a medical booked, although Brighton were still insisting on Wednesday night that no final agreement had been reached.
CLUB STATEMENT: MARC CUCURELLA.
Contrary to inaccurate reports from numerous media outlets this evening, no agreement has been reached with any club to sell Marc Cucurella.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) August 3, 2022
It appears that both clubs would like to announce the two deals at the same time and that the hold-up, although it is expected to still go through, are the details of the talks on Colwill with the 19-year-old central defender due to move to Brighton. There will be a buy-back clause in the deal for the Chelsea academy graduate.
The fee for Cucurella does not include any add-ons with Chelsea willing to match Brighton’s valuation after Manchester City, who had made the early running to sign the Spanish international, dropping out after refusing to offer more than £40m.
Cucurella made a huge impact after arriving at Brighton from Getafe last year for around £15m. The fee being exacted from Chelsea represents a significant profit, although Brighton did not want to sell.
It will be interesting to see where Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel plays Cucurella who usually operates as a left-back or left wing-back, and so would be in competition with Ben Chilwell, but may end up being used on the left-side of a back-three. He has lined up there before for Brighton.
Tuchel has been clear that ideally he wants Chelsea to sign three central defenders during this transfer window but, so far, only Kalidou Koulibaly – who was unveiled on Wednesday – has been signed from Napoli for £34m.
They have missed out on a number of defensive targets – Matthijs de Ligt, Nathan Ake and Jules Kounde – and are targeting Wesley Fofana. Leicester City are adamant they will not sell unless they receive a huge bid of £80m or more but it is understood that Fofana is interested in the move.
Chelsea are also in talks to hijack Manchester United’s protracted attempts to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona and have also made an enquiry for Southampton full-back Kyle Walker-Peters while also showing interest in Inter Milan’s Denzil Dumfries.