In what has been the most protracted transfer of the summer, Manchester City are finally ready to open negotiations with Brighton to sign defender Marc Cucurella, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The football guru has stated that City are set to make a bid for the Spanish left back, claiming a full verbal agreement has almost been reached and personal terms already agreed. Romano is rarely wrong about such issues and deals in facts rather than rumours, so it is likely that Cucurella will be a City player within the coming days. Although it is worth noting that we have been here before with this story.
The blues have been without a permanent left-back since Benjamin Mendy’s arrest and subsequent charges for rape and sexual assault saw the French international suspended from the club. Joao Cancelo, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte have all been utilised in that position, however, Pep Guardiola has been eager to fill the spot on a more permanent basis.
If the blues do sign the highly-rated Cucurella, it will see Zinchenko leave the club for Arsenal. A fee of around £30m is rumoured to have been agreed with the Gunners, and it may be just a case of City signing Cucurella before allowing the Ukraine captain to depart the club.
Is Letting Zinchenko Go a Mistake?
There has been a bit of an exodus at City this season, which isn’t surprising considering the new arrivals at the club. It was always inevitable that a couple of key names would leave, with Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling the two big names to step away from the club. Zinchenko looks like being the third, but are the blues making a mistake in letting the Ukraine skipper leave?
Zinchenko is one of the most versatile players City have at their disposal. With the ability to play at left back, left wing back or an attacking midfielder, the blues are allowing a potential threat from the left to join a Premier League rival. Against Aston Villa on the final day of the season, Zinchenko emerged from the subs bench and played a huge part in City’s comeback, taking on the Villa defence before setting up Rodri for the equaliser.
Whenever he has played for the club, Zinchenko has put his heart and soul into every performance. And the midfielder had the chance to join Wolves four years ago as his City career looked to have stalled following two loan spells in The Netherlands. The midfielder opted to stay, and despite not being able to hold down a regular starting place, Zinchenko has made 128 appearances for the blues.
At just 25 years old, Zinchenko’s best years are ahead of him, so should City have saved themselves some money and, rather than splash the cash on Cucurella, turned the attacker into a more defensive player?
It worked when Vincent Kompany joined the club. The Belgian legend moved to City as a defensive midfielder but developed into one of the best centre-backs City have had in recent years. Could this have worked for Zinchenko? Sadly, we won’t find out.
Guardiola has his reasons for wanting to sign Cucurella and is prepared to sacrifice Zinchenko in order to get his man. While we must trust the Catalan’s judgement, it’s still sad to see a player of Zinchenko’s quality leave the club, particularly to a Premier League rival. Zinchenko is yet to score a goal in the Premier League. With City visiting the Emirates on October 18th, what are the chances of him getting his first against us?
It is tradition after all.