Chelsea are close to landing Marc Cucurella from Brighton for around £52.5m, according to reports.
Brighton insisted on Wednesday that no agreement had been reached despite widespread reports to the contrary, but figures close to the deal are adamant the deal will eventually go through.
A medical is booked for Thursday and Cucurella is poised to sign a six-year deal. Talks had advanced over Chelsea’s offer on Tuesday and agreement moved closer on Wednesday, with the Seagulls denying it was 100 per cent done.
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They said in a statement, posted from an iPhone, on Twitter: ‘Contrary to inaccurate reports from numerous media outlets this evening, no agreement has been reached with any club to sell Marc Cucurella.’
The clubs held off official agreement as discussions are ongoing over Levi Colwill heading in the opposite direction, either on a loan or permanent deal and with a buy-back option.
The 24-year-old has already agreed to join the London club but is awaiting the go-ahead once the finer details of the fees and payments are passed by Brighton’s owners.
The transfer will take Chelsea’s total spend this summer to £145.5m after moves for Man City’s Raheem Sterling, Napoli’s Koulibaly and Gabriel Slonina from Chicago Fire.
Cucurella had handed in a transfer request to his current team last week after seeing Manchester City thwarted in their attempts to sign him for under £40m.
Pep Guardiola’s side are keen to strengthen at left back after the departure of Zinchenko to Arsenal and amid Benjamin Mendy’s ongoing absence, with only Cancelo as a senior option in that position.
But City have turned their attention to Anderlecht player Sergio Gomez as an alternative after Chelsea hijacked their move for Cucurella, with City not pursuing a deal as they deemed the asking price too much.
The 24-year-old joined Brighton from Getafe for only £15m last summer but impressed in his debut season, making 35 appearances and scoring once.
It had been reported that the former Barcelona academy graduate only wanted to join up with Pep Guardiola but he has been convinced of Chelsea’s project under Tuchel and new owner Todd Boehly.