Chelsea wait on Marc Cucurella and start Frenkie de Jong talks with Barça
- Cucurella deal held up as Brighton seek reinforcements
- Tuchel wants Barcelona’s De Jong but deal does not look easy
Chelsea’s move for Marc Cucurella has been held up by Brighton’s desire to bring in defensive reinforcements before they let the Spaniard leave.
Cucurella has agreed to join Chelsea, who have offered about £50m, and is waiting for the transfer to go through. However Brighton are not under financial pressure to sell and want to sort out replacements. They have had little joy with several left-back targets, including Porto’s Zaidu Sanusi and Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilón, and are trying to sign the 19-year-old Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill.
Chelsea, who have opened talks with Barcelona over a deal for the Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong, are reluctant to sell Colwill to Brighton. They would prefer a loan as part of a deal for Cucurella. Brighton want Colwill separately and on a permanent deal.
Leicester, who intend to resist Chelsea’s attempts to sign their 21-year-old centre-back Wesley Fofana, are also interested in Colwill.
Chelsea are looking to rebuild their defence. They have signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli and their attempts to bring in a right-sided defender to compete with Reece James has led them to target Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters and Internazionale’s Denzel Dumfries.
Tuchel is not only focused on his defence. Chelsea’s manager is an admirer of De Jong, who has been targeted by Manchester United. De Jong, who is owed about £17m in deferred wages by Barcelona, has shown little desire to join United. Barça could demand €85m (£71m) for the former Ajax player but are under pressure to sell after spending heavily despite their financial difficulties.
A move for De Jong could prove difficult. Chelsea have plenty of competition in midfield, though Juventus are interested in Jorginho.
Chelsea have recognised the need to renovate their midfield given that Jorginho and N’Golo Kanté are out of contract next summer. They have agreed a £20m deal with Aston Villa for Carney Chukwuemeka and have had two bids turned down for Inter’s 19-year-old prodigy Cesare Casadei. Inter want £20m for Casadei and Chelsea remain interested in the Italian.
As for Chelsea’s attack, at least one addition will be required if Timo Werner is allowed to leave. RB Leipzig hope to sign their former striker on loan. Juventus and Newcastle are also interested in the Germany international, who will need to take a wage cut if he leaves.
Chelsea look increasingly likely to keep Armando Broja, who was targeted by West Ham earlier this summer. Everton remain interested in the 20-year-old forward.
Broja could be given an opportunity to establish himself in Tuchel’s squad but Chelsea are still looking for attackers. They hold a tentative interest in Barça’s Memphis Depay and have scouted RB Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko, who is wanted by United.