Premier League rivals Chelsea are closing on a £50million-plus deal for the Spaniard Cucurella after further talks with Brighton.
The 24-year-old has already agreed to join the Stamford Bridge club and is awaiting the go-ahead once the finer details of the fee and payment are passed by Brighton’s owners.
Man City are frustrated with how transfer talks with Brighton over Marc Cucurella unfolded
Premier League rivals Chelsea are closing on a £50million-plus deal for the Spaniard instead
Cucurella had handed in a transfer request last week after seeing City thwarted in their attempts to sign him for under £40m.
Sources close to Cucurella, and influential ones at City, believed a deal would be feasible up until the end of last week, according to The Athletic.
The same report suggests the 24-year-old had been desperate to work with City boss Guardiola and did not entertain Brighton’s offer of a new contract – instead it looks like Cucurella will link up with Blues boss Thomas Tuchel and his new-look defence.
The 24-year-old full-back had been desperate to work with City boss Pep Guardiola (pictured)
Cucurella looks set to link up with Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and his new-look defence
Cucurella, who joined Brighton from Getafe for £15million just last summer, even handed in a transfer request last week, a severe move that few players resort to.
City did not want to offer anymore while Brighton refused to budge from their £50million valuation of the left-back – despite never actually communicating a specific figure to City during talks and did not fully engage in open dialogue.
A £40million move would have made Cucurella the fourth most expensive left-back of all time, and therefore would represent a fine piece of business, but Brighton have insisted they also saw him as a centre-back, and that there are lots of expensive centre-backs.
They said that they had not even been looking for a replacement, despite having been informed of City’s interest at the end of last summer.
City have spent big money on full-backs in the past including Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo
Graham Potter’s side also pointed to the fact, City have spent big on defenders previously, Kyle Walker (£50million plus £4million in add-ons) and Joao Cancelo (£60million, although offset by Danilo moving to Juventus).
City, however, insisted that both of those players had far more Premier League and Champions League experience, while Walker boosts the homegrown quota.
The deal falling through comes as a huge blow to City, who now have just six senior defenders as they head into the new season, including four centre-backs and two full-backs, an alarming lack of depth in the wide areas.
Following the sale of Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal, Joao Cancelo is City’s only senior option at left-back, backed up by an inexperienced and injury-prone Josh Wilson-Esbrand, leaving them extremely light.