Chelsea transfer target Marc Cucurella has been exiled from training by Brighton manager Graham Potter ahead of the start of the Premier League season.
The Blues have already completed four signings in the summer transfer window with Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Gabriel Slonina and Carney Chukwuemeka all making the move to Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel is keen to add defensive signings to his squad following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
After Chelsea missed out on securing a deal for Jules Kounde, along with failing to convince Nathan Ake to return to west London, the Blues are now targeting Cucurella as their next signing.
football.london understands Chelsea have agreed a fee worth £52.5million for the Spaniard , although the deal has yet to be fully signed off by the Seagulls.
The Spanish defender has now been exiled from first-team training with the Seagulls with Potter wanting to avoid distractions ahead of Brighton’s trip to Old Trafford to start the Premier League season, as per The Athletic.
Contrary to reports, Brighton have since denied a deal has been agreed or that a medical has been sanctioned by the club. The 24-year-old handed in a transfer request earlier this summer following interest from Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side have refused to increase their offer of £40million for Cucurella, handing the Blues a clear run at landing the Spaniard as their fifth summer signing. Cucurella can play at both left-back and centre- back, making him an attractive option for Chelsea with Thomas Tuchel’s tactical system using wing- backs and three central defenders.
Brighton are interested in talented youngster Levi Colwill, though any move for the 19-year-old would be negotiated separately to the Cucurella deal with no agreement in place yet.
Chelsea are expected to be one of the busiest clubs in the transfer window prior to the deadline on Thursday, September 1, with a number of incoming and outgoing transfers needing to be completed.
The Blues have a bloated squad heading into the new campaign, with the likes of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Michy Batshuayi all being linked with exits from Stamford Bridge.