Chelsea face tight deadline for £52.5m Marc Cucurella to face Everton in Prem opener
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Chelsea will need to get their deal for Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella over the line by midday today (Friday) if they want him to be part of their squad for their Premier League opener against Everton on Saturday. The Blues are set to announce the signing of the former Getafe ace, who handed in a transfer request last week.
On Wednesday evening, various reports claimed that Chelsea had reached an agreement in principle to sign Cucurella for £52.5million. But the Seagulls then released a statement to label the reports as “inaccurate” and insisted that “no agreement has been reached with any club.”
Cucurella was then kept away from Brighton’s training session on Thursday at their manager Graham Potter reportedly sees the situation as a distraction. With the 24-year-old seemingly desperate to embark on a new challenge, a transfer appears imminent at a reported fee of £55m rising to £62m with add-ons.
But Premier League regulations stipulate that new signings need to be registered by 12pm on the last working day before a fixture if they are to be eligible for that match. So the west Londoners could pull out all the stops to get the deal done before the clock turns against them.
Cucurella joined Brighton from Getafe for £15m last summer and started every single one of his team’s Premier League games following his arrival on the south coast. The former Barcelona youngster was a key player for the Seagulls as his side secured a ninth-place top-flight finish.
Cucurella, who was part of the Spain team that reached the final of last summer’s Olympic Games, was the subject of a £30m offer from Manchester City last month. But the Seagulls rejected that bid before Chelsea came in with a higher offer.
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Cucurella has already suggested that playing for Brighton was a stepping stone and reportedly told club staff weeks ago that he wanted to leave the club. “The goal [at Brighton] was to develop so the big clubs can take notice,” the defender said at the end of May.
“But if the opportunity arises, you have to take advantage of it. There are teams that you can’t say no to. Of course, there are rumours. If people are talking like this about you, it’s a good thing. We’re calm – the most important thing right now is to rest.”
Cucurella will be hoping his transfer to Chelsea can go through as quickly as possible as he looks to build on his fine start to life in England. Chelsea’s next match after Everton sees them take on Tottenham on Sunday August 14.
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