MANCHESTER CITY are stepping up their interest in Brighton’s Marc Cucurella but will face a battle to move him from the south coast.
Pep Guardiola has identified the Spaniard as an ideal fit for his squad this summer and is keen to test Brighton’s resolve.
Marc Cucurella is on Man City’s wishlist but they will have to spend big to get him
However, the Seagulls are determined to keep hold of Cucurella, 23, who they signed from Spanish side Getafe only last summer.
The full-back had a storming first season in the Premier League, winning Brighton’s player of the season award.
His performances have attracted plenty of interest, with Chelsea also admirers of the former Barcelona youngster.
Graham Potter’s side have already agreed to the sale of midfielder Yves Bissouma to Tottenham this summer – with the Mali international set to join in a deal which could reach more than £30million.
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However – they are in a far stronger position when it comes to Cucurella, who joined for around £15million 12 months ago.
There is no desire to see the full-back leave the Amex and, while Bissouma had just one year left on his contract, Cucurella has four.
The south coast side, who secured a top half finish in the Premier League last season, have not had any formal enquiries for any senior player other than Bissouma so far this summer.
While Brighton are comfortable with selling key players for a big fee – with Ben White having joined Arsenal for £50million last summer – it will take a huge figure to agree a move for Cucurella.
A deal for Cucurella could see Ukraine international Oleksandr Zinchencko leave Manchester City.
The full-back, who can also play in midfield, is of interest to Arsenal and West Ham.
Zinchenko, 25, made 28 appearances for City last season.