Manchester City are close to walking away from a potential deal for Marc Cucurella after Brighton & Hove Albion indicated they would not entertain any offer under £50million, The Athletic understands.
City are believed to be willing to pay up to £40 million for the 24-year-old left-back.
The Manchester club had previously made an offer of £30 million, days after selling Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal for a similar price.
Brighton rejected that bid out of hand, and are believed to be holding out for a deal equivalent to the sum fetched for Ben White last summer.
Cucurella is understood to have held talks with Graham Potter and the Brighton board, during which he expressed his desire to join the reigning Premier League champions. Personal terms should not prove a problem in any potential deal.
However, £40 million is believed, as things stand, to be City’s upper-limit for the deal.
Conversations are expected to continue in the coming days, however, with the Clubs far away from an agreement, City could move on to Exploring other options for the left-back role.
City have spent big on full-backs in the past, investing £105million on Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo, but there is a feeling this is a different case as Cucurella does not yet have the same sort of top-flight experience or international record.
Brighton rate Cucurella as one of their best players and are not in a rush to sell the Spaniard, although owner Tony Bloom said recently that the club would not necessarily stand in his way should they receive an acceptable offer. They are understood to have known since May that City would target the defender.
The 24-year-old played 38 games in an impressive first season at Brighton, registering one goal and two assists.
Cucurella is only one year into a five-year deal signed after he joined from Getafe for £15million last summer — though The Athletic reported earlier this month that the club were attempting to negotiate improved terms on a new contract.
City begin their season on July 30, when they play Liverpool in the Community Shield, before they face West Ham United in their opening Premier League game on August 7.
They have already signed three players this window — Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, and Stefan Ortega, for a combined sum of close to £100 million.
(Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Why Manchester City want Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella