Marc Cucurellas preference as Chelsea look to hijack Man City transfer deal

Thomas Tuchel reflects on Chelsea's pre-season defeat to Arsenal

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Chelsea are looking to hijack Manchester City’s move for Brighton star Marc Cucurella, according to reports. However, the Spaniard is claimed to prefer a move to the Etihad if he were to leave the Amex this summer.

Cucurella only joined Brighton from Getafe a year ago. But his debut campaign in the Premier League caught the eye of some of England’s top clubs.

City have already seen a bid turned down by Brighton for Cucurella. The 24-year-old has handed in a transfer request in an attempt to push through a move to the reigning English champions.

But the Mail claims Chelsea are now attempting to hijack the transfer. Marcos Alonso is a target for Barcelona and Cucurella is lined up as a replacement at Stamford Bridge.

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Brighton’s asking price of £50million has seen a move to City stall for the time being. So Chelsea are looking to take advantage of the current state of affairs.

However, the report says Cucurella is desperate to work under Pep Guardiola and ideally would prefer to join City. Brighton are claimed to not be happy with City’s first offer of £35m.

City have allowed Oleksandr Zinchenko to leave to join Arsenal. That has reduced the number of left-back options available to Guardiola.

Joao Cancelo has excelled in that position of late and played there against Liverpool in the Community Shield loss on Saturday. Guardiola refused to comment on interest in Cucurella when speaking to the media at the end of last week.

He said there is also a possibility he will not sign a left-back if the right option isn’t available. Guardiola said: “He’s a Brighton player. I cannot say anything else.

“If it’s possible [to strengthen we will] but if not, we stay with the players we have. Joao can play there, Josh [Wilson-Esbrand] can play there, Nathan [Ake] can play there.

“I never complain about the squad I have since the first season. It is always for the benefit of the club, not for me, and I support the club.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea have made just two signings so far this summer. Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly have both joined Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

Brazil winger Raphinha and France defender Jules Kounde were both top targets for the Blues. But both players have joined Barcelona instead.

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