As Chelsea is rumored to be interested in buying left-back Marc Cucurella, Brighton & Hove Albion has issued a statement denying that they have agreed to sell him.
Earlier in the transfer window, the 24-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, with the Citizens reportedly willing to pay up to £40m for the Spaniard.
The Premier League champions are reportedly unwilling to meet Brighton's asking price, which is thought to be more than £50 million, so negotiations over a potential deal for Cucurella are believed to have come to an end.
Cucurella, who only relocated to the South Coast last summer from Getafe for about £15.4 million, now appears to be in front of the line in the race to sign him.
According to a number of media reports on Wednesday, Brighton and Chelsea have agreed to sell the left-back for more than £50 million, with young defender Levi Colwill moving the other way as part of the deal.
However, Brighton have confirmed on their official website and social media platforms that reports in the media are “inaccurate”.
A short statement read, “Contrary to inaccurate reports from numerous media outlets this evening, no agreement has been reached with any club to sell Marc Cucurella.”
Last Friday – prior to reports of Chelsea emerging as the frontrunners to sign Cucurella – the left-back was understood to have handed in a transfer request at Brighton after discovering that Man City were interested in his services.
Cucurella subsequently missed Brighton’s 5-1 pre-season victory at home to Espanyol last Saturday, although manager Graham Potter stated that his absence was due to injury.
“He had a feeling in his calf this week, so I didn’t think it was the right thing to risk him today." We’ll see for next week, "Potter told reporters, via The Argus, after the match.
When asked whether Cucurella would have received an unsavoury reception from supporters had he played, amid links with leaving the club, Potter added: “I don’t think people would do that." I think people have a nice feeling for Marc.
“They understand the speculation and things that happen when the transfer window is open." There is not too much to say. It is just part of modern-day football.
“We are confident and relaxed in our position, and we just look forward to the season starting and preparing the team.”
Brighton – who have already sold Yves Bissouma to Tottenham Hotspur this summer – are under no pressure to sell Cucurella, who still has four years remaining on his contract at the Amex Stadium.
It remains to be seen whether the left-back will be involved in Potter’s squad for their opening Premier League game of the new season away at Manchester United on August 7.