That is according to a report from the Daily Mail, who claim that Pep Guardiola wants to add “hungry” players to his squad, with the 23-year-old reportedly fitting the bill.
In his report, the Daily Mail’s Dominic King states that a move for the former Barcelona youth prospect will set the Citizens back around £30m this summer – around double the £15.4m fee that Brighton paid Getafe for his services last summer.
In what has been his debut season in England’s top flight, it’s fair to say that Cucurella has taken the Premier League by storm, so it is no wonder why Guardiola has identified his countryman as a viable option to fix his depth issues at full-back.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is the fact that he is willing to move for the Spaniard less than a year after his move to Brighton.
This move also suggests a lot about the Man City boss’ tactics going into next season, as he clearly wants a more direct and orthodox option to create a plethora of chances from the wide areas and become a “delivery expert” – in the words of Statman Dave – for the incoming Erling Haaland – who has the potential to be an elite striker for City.
Guardiola has clearly taken a page out of Jurgen Klopp’s tactical notebook, the one that hits a fine balance between a mass-possession foundation, merged with a loud and abrasive pressing system that leads to direct counter-attacking transitions.
Cucurella is the man that can help City and Pep to achieve this slight switch in style, and his average of 2.69 crosses per 90 can benefit both the manager and Haaland massively – a metric that beats Zinchenko’s average of 1.78 crosses per 90 and falls just short of Cancelo’s average of 2.80 per match.
Pep’s experiment with an inverted full-back in Cancelo is clearly over, with orthodox full-backs now looking as though they will have a place once again in the Spaniard’s ever-evolving system.