Chelsea are close to a deal to sign Brighton defender Marc Cucurella, 90min can confirm, with Levi Colwill expected to move in the opposite direction in a separate deal.
Cucurella was wanted by Manchester City earlier this summer but the Premier League champions refused to meet Brighton’s asking price of over £50m, instead walking away from negotiations after their £40m offer was rebuffed.
That allowed Chelsea to open their own talks with Brighton, with the Blues quickly voicing their willingness to meet the desired sum. Now, 90min can confirm that an agreement is close to being struck between the two sides.
Cucurella has already agreed personal terms with Thomas Tuchel’s side and, with a transfer fee almost sorted, the 24-year-old should soon head to Stamford Bridge to become the next signing of the Todd Boehly era.
During the negotiations, Brighton have been working to sign Chelsea youngster Colwill, who is likely to head to the Amex Stadium in a deal worth around £25m which will remain separate to the signing of Cucurella.
Importantly, Chelsea are pushing for a buy-back clause for Colwill which is understood to sit around the £40m mark.
19-year-old Colwill, who shone on loan with Huddersfield Town last season, is keen to leave Chelsea this summer following the Blues’ determination to sign three new centre-backs to address the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, effectively shutting the door to his chances of a permanent promotion to the senior side.
Cucurella, who can play on the left of a back three as well as in his natural role at left-back, would be the second defensive signing made this summer, following the arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly.
Raheem Sterling has also joined, as has Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, while a £20m deal to sign Aston Villa midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka is also close to completion.