Manchester City tried to sign Marc Cucurella but had their opening bid of £30m rejected by Brighton & Hove Albion. The Sky Blues responded by being open to a move worth £40m, but their efforts were once again rebuffed as Brighton were holding out for £50m.
And after a lack of progress made, Albion ended discussions with City after refusing to budge on their valuation. Cucurella has handed in a transfer request but won’t be granted a departure unless his asking price is matched. But with Simon Stone of BBC Sport saying City are turning their attention to alternatives, have they been embarrassed?
Where will Manchester City finish in the Premier League this season?
5th or lower
City are making a clear effort to balance their books this summer, sanctioning the departures of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko which made them £130m, £30m less than they spent bringing Erling Haaland and Kalvin Phillips to the Etihad Stadium. But they can’t bully Brighton as Cucurella is contracted with the Seagulls until 2026.
The Premier League defending champions used to pay £50m for fullbacks too. They spent £45m bringing in Kyle Walker from Tottenham Hotspur and £52m bringing in Benjamin Mendy from AS Monaco five years ago. City spent £60m on Joao Cancelo from Juventus in 2019, so they’ve consistently spent big on dynamic defenders.
Txiki Begiristain’s stance on Cucurella is noble but won’t get City what they want in the transfer market.