Brighton & Hove Albion reportedly turned down Manchester City‘s opening bid of £30 million for left-back Marc Cucurella. The 23-year-old is thought to be Pep Guardiola’s top priority for the remaining summer transfer window as he attempts to replace Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is headed to Arsenal.
Zinchenko reportedly has a four-year contract at the Emirates Stadium, and City has reportedly agreed to transfer him for an initial £30 million. Zinchenko was seen wearing the Arsenal training uniform on Wednesday in Orlando, where the Gunners are stationed for their preseason tour of the United States.
With Zinchenko headed for the exit, City have now intensified their efforts to sign Cucurella, albeit as things stand, they and Brighton are still at odds over a transfer fee for the Spanish player.
The Premier League winners reportedly made an opening offer of roughly £30 million, which is comparable to the sum they would be paid by Arsenal for Zinchenko, but Brighton rejected their offer.
According to The Athletic, City are prepared to up their initial offer for Cucurella but are ready to back out if Brighton won’t reduce their £50 million asking price.
Further discussions are expected to take place in the coming days as negotiations between the two clubs are believed to be in their early stages.
On Thursday morning (GMT), when asked about City’s pursuit of Cucurella, Guardiola told reporters that he already has three players at his disposal who can play at left-back.
“We are in negotiations. If it doesn’t happen, we have alternatives. [Joao] Cancelo, [Josh] Wilson-Esbrand is a young talent, [Nathan] Ake can play there,”
Guardiola said after City’s 2-1 friendly win over Club America in Houston.
Manchester City planning to opt services of Cucurella?
Guardiola may have made his remarks, but according to a recent source, City has identified Stuttgart left-back Borna Sosa as a potential target should their pursuit of Cucurella fall through.
Cucurella just signed a five-year deal with the Seagulls last summer after leaving Getafe for for £15.4 million.
Tony Bloom, the chairman of Brighton, earlier this summer said the club would not obstruct the defender if they got a good offer.
“[Marc] was unbelievably good last season, his first season in the Premier League. We’re hoping for more to come and we haven’t had a bid for him,”
Bloom told The Argus.
“We’ve got to be realistic if a certain bid comes in and the player wants to move, the player will move, but we are not anticipating, we’re not looking for our best players to move on.”
At the conclusion of the previous month, speculation about a potential transfer for Cucurella to the Etihad Stadium grew after the Spaniard liked a Fabrizio Romano Instagram post announcing Kalvin Phillips’ agreement to join the Citizens.
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