Manchester City have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Brighton and Hove Albion star Marc Cucurella.

According to The Athletic, Premier League champions Manchester City have faced a major setback in their summer pursuit of Brighton and Hove Albion full-back Marc Cucurella.

The Spanish star has been a revelation since moving to the Amex Stadium last summer and has quickly established himself as one of the best players in his position. Solid in defence and ingenious going forward, he has all the makings of a top-quality modern-day full-back who is impactful at both ends of the pitch.

Cucurella’s performances have caught the attention of Pep Guardiola who is keen to strengthen his side ahead of the 2022/23 campaign. The defending English champions are likely to be pushed hard by Liverpool once again and will need to bring in the necessary depth in all positions.

Portuguese international Joao Cancelo is Manchester City’s first choice left-back and has more or less made the position his own. The loss of Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal means that Guardiola lacks a reliable backup to Cancelo and will need to dip into the market to address it.

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Marc Cucurella of Spain in action during a U16 International match between Spain and Belgium at St Georges Park on February 11, 2014 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Marc Cucurella to join Manchester City? (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

At 24, Cucurella is entering his prime and can become a mainstay in the top flight for years to come. Brighton are well aware of the talent they have on their hands and are not willing to lower the asking price of at least £50 million.

They are in no mood to negotiate and have refused to entertain any offers that fall below expectations. They have a reputation for holding firm and did so last summer when Arsenal came calling for Ben White. The chances of them letting off this time seem remote.

While the Seagulls have made their stance clear, the player is keen to move to the Etihad. He has officially submitted a transfer request and was also left out of the Brighton squad for their pre-season friendly against Espanyol. Whether he remains keen on forcing the club’s hand remains to be seen.

With Graham Potter’s side making their stance clear, the ball is now in Manchester City’s court. The Premier League champions will now have to fork out the cash to land a player who can function as a utility man of sorts.

Cucurella’s versatility makes him an attractive proposition for a manager such as Guardiola. The prospect of deploying the 24-year-old in several positions to sate his tactical requirements is enticing. It will all come down to whether the Cityzens can cough up the money Brighton are seeking or not.

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