Manchester City are looking elsewhere for a left-back option.
That’s the latest on Marc Cucurella from the Northwest.
Of course they are. Clubs around the world are constantly on the lookout for talent.
The interesting thing is why this information was allowed to leak.
Is it because City are incredibly outspoken and want fans to know exactly what they’re up to?
It could be. That would be very commendable.
Was it a way of saving face after realizing they weren’t going to get cucurella?
Or did they want to force Albion to let him go?
That a carefully leaked hint that they had other aspirations would suddenly make their colleagues in Sussex do a U-turn and accept whatever Etihad was offering?
It’s not the first of these reasons. It could be the second.
If it’s the last, then it’s a flawed policy – for a variety of reasons.
One Albion wanted to keep, not sell.
Secondly, that Albion hold the trump cards here as Cucurella has a long-term contract.
And third, the Seagulls know exactly who’s out there when it comes to left-backs, both in their own market and City’s.
It’s worth noting here that I’m always hesitant to type “left-back” when it comes to Cucurella.
He’s so much more than that, he impresses as a full-back and on the left side of a back three.
Chelsea seemed to have noticed this when it came to their apparent strong interest yesterday.
They could too. At Stamford Bridge, Cucurella operated to the left of a three for the first time.
But it’s as a left-back in a back four where Albion would miss him the most if he left.
There they would have the fewest alternatives within the current group.
Albion will know who else City can pursue because they will also be taking a close look at the left-backs themselves.
Not necessarily because they expect Cucurella to leave now, even though we’re only a big bid away.
And not necessarily from the city.
More likely it surfaced from Chelsea yesterday.
As with City, it’s not like the Stamford Bridge side can’t afford him.
It’s about whether they want to afford it.
Even if Cucurella stays this time, there will be more interest and different bidding in the next window or two.
Provided, of course, he maintains his excellent form and consistency, which is absolutely key to all of this.
If he stays there is an argument Albion could still use with a signing in this area.
Even if you should make yourself future-proof for a later Cucurella disposal.
Get the replacement before the man leaves himself.
You may have hoped at some stages that a future solution would be in-house.
But it won’t be Alex Cochrane, the former U23 skipper and left-back who has joined Hearts.
Nor will it be Michal Karbownik, who might have been eyed up as a potential future full-back or full-back for the first-team when he joined from Legia Warsaw but never really made an impression and now wants to play in midfield.
Albion have been speculatively linked with Alex Moreno at Betis, who is very similar in style to Cucurella and has had a fantastic season.
We were told there was nothing wrong with that.
At this point, we can all play amateur talent scouts and see who’s out there to replace, succeed, or complement Cucurella.
Actually, it was a professional scout who told me he would go for Javi Galan at Celta, despite being relatively old at 27.
But you don’t have to shop at Spanish markets.
So City says they’re looking elsewhere.
As is so often the case at this time of year, you have to ask yourself two questions when it comes to information.
Is it true? And why are you telling us this?
Sometimes that second question is more important than the first.
This was one of those occasions where it was reported that City was looking elsewhere.
But Chelsea could make everything irrelevant.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/sport/20593695.brighton-will-look-left-back-chelsea-eye-cucurella/?ref=rss Brighton will be looking for a left-back as Chelsea keep an eye on Cucurella