Manchester City are reportedly not willing to pay the asking price to sign Brighton & Hove Albion defender Marc Cucurella.
According to a recent report in The Athletic from City journalist Pol Ballus, the Manchester club are not willing to meet Brighton’s £50m-plus asking price for the left-back and will instead focus on other players to sign in that position instead.
The report adds that City are “still interested in a deal for the defender, but are comfortable with signing someone else to play in that position if Brighton do not lower their demands.”
It was also reported by the same publication on Saturday that the Seagulls had ended their discussions with City over a potential deal involving Cucurella, despite claims that the player had put in a transfer request in an effort to force a move to Pep Guardiola’s side.
Bearing in mind how impressive the full-back was during his debut campaign with Brighton last season, it’s easy to see why the Citizens are interested in signing him and why it would be bad news for Guardiola if they don’t sign him.
Specifically, the 24-year-old racked up more blocks (72), interceptions (72) and successful tackles (62) than any other Brighton player.
From an attacking point of view, he also delivered more crosses (94) than any of his current teammates as well as the third-highest number of dribbles attempted (59) and shot-creating actions made (78) in Graham Potter’s squad.
With the Premier League champions now rather light in terms of their current full-back options, signing another player for that position should be top priority for the club before the summer transfer window closes.
Now that it has been reported that City may not be willing to meet Brighton’s asking price for their star defender, this will surely have Guardiola rather angry, especially if the club don’t end up signing him.
Having spent the early part of his career in Barcelona’s youth ranks, this was surely one of the reasons that Guardiola would want the defender in his squad given his own obvious connections with the Spanish club.
If Brighton continue to stand their ground over Cucurella and the money they’d want for him, City will have to make a decision over whether they pay what the Seagulls want or move on to other options elsewhere.
Either way, this is a decision they need to make sooner rather than later.