Chelsea chiefs may well be hoping Manchester City come back in for Marc Cucurella in January to ease their financial concerns. The reigning Premier League champions are admirers of the Spaniard, who is far from the first choice at Stamford Bridge this season.
Much was expected from Cucurella when he joined Chelsea from Brighton for £62million in August 2022. He had excelled during his only campaign at the Amex and won the club’s Player of the Season award.
However, it hasn’t gone how the 25-year-old or Chelsea would have wanted. The Blues struggled to a 12th-placed finish in the Premier League last term and Cucurella had a debut season to forget.
He was subject to jeers from his own supporters at times and he soon fell out of favour. It has since emerged that City attempted to take Cucurella away from his Chelsea nightmare as early as January.
Fabrizio Romano told Caught Offside that Pep Guardiola tried to sign the left-back on loan with an option to buy. Chelsea rejected the offer at the time as they still felt there was room for him to improve.
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City did not return for Cucurella in the summer. Speaking in July, Cucurella was looking forward to a new start under Mauricio Pochettino.
He said: “I want to stay at Chelsea. I am very happy here, it was not an easy season. When you arrive at a big club you feel a lot of pressure and when the results don’t arrive you feel it even more. This is part of life, and we learn to improve.
“One of the most important things in players in confidence. Confidence is one of the most important things and we have new season and new coach.”
However, four games into the new Premier League season Cucurella is yet to play a minute. His only appearance to date came in the Carabao Cup tie against AFC Wimbledon.
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Manchester United were keen on signing Cucurella on a short-term loan but his outing in the cup saw them turn their attention to Spurs’ Sergio Reguilon instead. Ben Chilwell has been Chelsea’s first-choice wing-back so far this season, with Ian Maatsen his deputy.
Maatsen’s long-term future is in doubt after entering the final year of his contract. But if Chelsea can tie him down to a new deal, they could well be looking to move Cucurella on.
Guardiola is clearly an admirer of the player who came through the ranks at Barcelona. Chelsea may hope City repeat their interest from last January and try to sign Cucurella again.
They know they would unlikely get anywhere near the £60m they spent on him. But after a £1billion outlay in the last three windows, the Blues would welcome an influx of cash for a player who Pochettino clearly doesn’t view as a key squad member.
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