Man City step up chase for Brighton star Cucurella as Zinchenko nears exit

Manchester City are set to ramp up their interest in Marc Cucurella as Oleksandr Zinchenko closes in on a £30million switch to Arsenal.

City are long-term admirers of Cucurella, who has made a big impression since joining Brighton last summer. The Spaniard – who was a standout performer for Graham Potter's side last term as they bagged their highest-ever finish in the Premier League era – has been linked with a megabucks move in recent weeks.

And Pep Guardiola is now set to firm up his interest in the flying full-back in the coming days as the champions prepare to cash in on Zinchenko, who is set to reunite with Mikel Arteta at the Emirates.

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Guardiola will prioritise signing a new left-back once Zinchenko's exit is confirmed, reports The Sun. Cucurella is Guardiola's top target to replace the versatile Ukrainian ace – but City are unwilling to meet Brighton's demands.

The Seagulls snapped up Cucurella for just £15.4m from Getafe 12 months ago, but value the left-back at around £50m after his stunning maiden season on the south coast. Cucurella clocked up 39 appearances for Brighton and was even crowned their Player of the Year.

Guardiola has been aware of Cucurella for some time as the Brighton ace joined Barcelona's esteemed La Masia academy as a 14-year-old back when the City chief was in charge at the Nou Camp.

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Zinchenko is expected to wrap up his switch to Arsenal in the coming days after Manchester City gave him the green light to leave the Etihad.

Guardiola is unable to satisfy Zinchenko's demands for first-team football – something he is expected to get at Arsenal, who are reportedly planning to use the utility man in a midfield role.

Despite deputising as a left-back for most of his City career, Zinchenko is often deployed in midfield for the Ukraine national team and played a major role in their heroic bid to reach the 2022 World Cup.

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