Manchester City had one clear target throughout the summer transfer window, the final jigsaw piece after acquiring well earlier with Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips all signing.
A full-back is high up on the shortlist as City have only two recognized full-backs in Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo with Josh Wilson-Esbrand a natural left-back that could deputise for the Portuguese international.
Their pursuit of the Spanish left-back hit a block, could say a brick wall, as talks for Marc Cucurella ended after City and Brighton could not reach a transfer fee.
Brighton demanded a fee upward of £50 million (rightly so even though the valuation is a bit steep) while reports indicate that officials at the Etihad are not prepared to go above £40 million. An impasse in negotiations as it comes down to who is the least stubborn for Cucurella, despite the player attempting to force Brighton’s hand by submitting a transfer request.
He has expressed his willingness to work with Pep Guardiola for his request, however it may come as a surprise should he join a Premier League rival. Especially now there are reports that his personal terms have been agreed.
Chelsea is closing in on his signing after informing Brighton they are willing to pay £50m for the left-back, with City’s reluctance giving Thomas Tuchel hopes to reform his defence. Both, the German and Spaniard manager were reportedly keen on the left-back while he was at Getafe, so it comes as no surprise, that his short stay on the south coast will be limited to a year.
It is thought the Barcelona youth prospect will battle Ben Chilwell for the starting position as Tuchel provides competition for the England international, while Cucurella could also offer an option as a left-sided centre-back in a three-man central defence.
As mentioned by Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea is set to offer a sweetener by offering 19-year-old Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill in the deal. Something that City cannot afford to
Heat on Txiki following breakdown
After the breakdown of the transfer, the Director of Football Txiki Begiristain has experienced a barrage of backlash from City’s Twitter army.
The disapproval stems from City entering the season without a recognised left-back following the sales of Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal and the continued absence of Benjamin Mendy, likely to never feature for City again.
Leaving Joao Cancelo is a right-back by trade, Nathan Ake more comfortable at centre back and Josh Wilson-Esbrand a youngster yet to feature in the Premier League.
The difference of £10 million is stumping a number of the club’s younger fans given their short memory of where the club originated before the “oil money” arrived. Not understanding the pressures of Financial Fair Play also comes into play.
Time will tell now whether losing Cucurella will be another piece of smart business by Spaniard or a chance for domestic and European domination will fall away.