Chelsea has completed the signing of Marc Cucurella from Brighton for a fee in excess of £60 million.
Cucurella becomes Chelsea’s fifth summer signing, following Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Gabriel Slonina, and Carney Chukwuemeka.
The 24-year-old, who has signed a six-year contract, was signed in time to face Everton on Saturday Night Football.
Chelsea poked fun at Brighton when they announced the deal, repeating the format of their earlier this week Tweet denying reports of an agreement for the defender.
He joins Raheem Sterling from Manchester City (£47.5 million), Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli (£33 million), Gabriel Slonina from Chicago Fire (£12 million), and Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa (£20 million), for a total expenditure of £172 million.
Cucurella will compete for left-back minutes with Ben Chilwell, who was signed from Leicester for £50 million two seasons ago – but head coach Thomas Tuchel says his new signing provides versatility across the backline.
“It helps [fit-again] Ben escape the pressure of ‘I have to deliver and we need you right now,'” Tuchel said.
“We also have Marcos Alonso and Emerson, but Marc is the option here and he can play very well in the back three.” With a left foot, he has the profile of Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta). He provides us with numerous options.
“Ben is a very ambitious young man who couldn’t wait to get back to team training.” It appears that he needs a little more time to adjust to the rhythm and physicality of the match, which is normal. It’s a demanding league, and we have to be careful not to throw him in.”
Manchester City attempted to sign Cucurella but were unable to match Brighton’s valuation of the Spaniard.
Cucurella’s sale broke Brighton’s record, surpassing the £50 million Arsenal paid for centre-back Ben White last summer.
It is also a record fee for a full-back, matching the £60 million fee City agreed to sign Joao Cancelo from Juventus in 2019.
Chelsea’s business is far from over, with the Blues attempting to sign Leicester defender Wesley Fofana.
They are also said to be interested in Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who is Manchester United’s top target this summer.