Chelsea are closing in on a £50 million (€60m) deal to sign Marc Cucurella from Brighton after Manchester City ended their interest in the Spanish defender.
City refused to meet Brighton’s valuation, which left the door open for Chelsea to hold talks. It is understood Cucurella is open to joining Chelsea, despite having been keen on a switch to City, and that Brighton has already started looking at potential replacements.
Contracts were being exchanged yesterday with a view to finalizing a deal. City are not expected to make a new offer, having decided against bidding more than £40m (€48m).
Although Chelsea already has a £50m left-back in Ben Chilwell, and Barcelona target Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri are still at the club, Cucurella is seen as a potential solution to some of their defensive problems. Thomas Tuchel would like to add another left-footed defender and believes greater strength is needed in the wing-back areas.
Chilwell missed five months of last season after knee surgery and is still feeling his way back to full fitness.
Chelsea have missed out on defensive targets Matthijs de Ligt, Nathan Ake, and most recently Jules Kounde, who joined Barcelona. They have, however, spent £34m (€40m) on Kalidou Koulibaly and are interested in Inter Milan right-back Denzel Dumfries.
Leicester City remain adamant they will not sell Chelsea target Wesley Fofana unless they receive a bid of £80m (€95m) or more. However, sources believe Fofana would be interested in moving to Chelsea.
Meanwhile, RB Leipzig are interested in taking Timo Werner back on loan, while Billy Gilmour is likely to leave on another season-long loan. Gilmour spent last season at Norwich and had hoped to return to Chelsea to compete for a first-team place. But he was relegated to the U-23s during the pre-season US tour.
Everton manager Frank Lampard is a big fan of Gilmour and could offer the midfielder a place in his squad for the season.