Chelsea are close to hijacking Manchester City’s move for Marc Cucurella after agreeing to meet Brighton’s £50million asking price for the left-back.
The Stamford Bridge club are also locked in talks to sell forward Timo Werner to his former club Red Bull Leipzig as they push for a swap deal involving centre-back Josko Gvardiol.
MailOnline revealed on Monday morning that Chelsea were attempting to steal in for Cucurella after City refused to offer more than £40m for the Spaniard.
Chelsea are close to signing Marc Cucurella after agreeing to meet Brighton’s £50m valuation
Talks have accelerated over the past 24 hours with Chelsea also proposing young centre-back Levi Colwill as part of the deal and it is now expected that Cucurella will complete a switch to Stamford Bridge, where Thomas Tuchel could use him as a left wing-back or on the left of a back three.
The 24-year-old handed in a transfer request last week in a bid to force through a move to City and there was a feeling the Barcelona academy graduate had his heart set on working with Pep Guardiola.
However, Chelsea were given encouragement that Cucurella was interested in their club over the weekend and it is thought personal terms will not be an issue. His anticipated arrival will likely see Marcos Alonso get his wish of a move to Barcelona. Colwill has long been fancied by Brighton who monitored the 19-year-old closely during his loan at Huddersfield last season.
Manchester City were in pole position to sign the left back this summer ahead of the Blues
Cucurella only joined Brighton from Getafe for £15m last summer but impressed during his debut season, prompting the interest from City.
Thomas Tuchel could use the Spaniard as a left wing-back or on the left of a back three
Sportsmail understands though that there was growing annoyance on Brighton’s part at the nature of City’s approach. They had refused to negotiate further, regarding increments being offered above £35m, unless their £50m plus asking price was met while City had threatened to walk away. Talks with Chelsea have since progressed far more smoothly.
Chelsea are working hard to bolster their defence further and have subsequently delayed a proposed move for Malang Sarr to Fulham until they sign more players.
They have held talks with Inter Milan over Denzel Dumfries and with Leicester over £85m-rated Wesley Fofana, including offering players in return, but Brendan Rodgers insists the centre-back is not for sale.
Chelsea defender Levi Colwill has been mooted as part of the Cucurella deal with the Seagulls
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Chelsea held another meeting with Red Bull Leipzig on Sunday and talks were continuing on Monday night. They are prepared to offer Timo Werner back to his former club on loan in a bid to prise away combative defender Josko Gvardiol. Leipzig have not been receptive to allowing 20-year-old Croatia international Gvardiol to leave so far but Chelsea are pushing.
Leipzig are open to re-signing Werner on a loan or permanent while Juventus remain interested in a loan. Tuchel seems open to allowing the 26-year-old, who cost Chelsea £47.5m, to leave and a return to Leipzig would suit all parties if Gvardiol can be included.
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is discussing his loan move to Napoli so Chelsea will likely add another keeper on a short term deal. Gabriel Slonina, who has been signed for £12m from Chicago Fire, will be loaned back as the 18-year-old is seen as one for the future.