Brighton defender Marc Cucurella hands in transfer request to force Manchester City move

Guardiola was tight-lipped when quizzed about Cucurella on Friday. “He’s a Brighton player, I cannot say anything else,” he said. “If it’s possible, yes, but if it’s not we’ll stay with what we have. Joao [Cancelo] can play there, Nathan [Ake] can play there. I never complained about the squad I have. I support the club as I always have done.”

City – who face Liverpool in the Community Shield at Leicester’s King Power Stadium on Saturday – are hoping to make Cucurella their fifth summer signing after striker Erling Haaland, midfielder Kalvin Phillips, forward Julian Alvarez and goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.

The champions have spent £110m so far but they have already recovered £232m in sales in 2022 and that figure could hit £250 before the summer is out since youngsters Samuel Edozie and Issa Kabore could still leave for substantial fees.

City are also in line for handsome sell-on clause payments if Jack Harrison and Ivan Illic leave Leeds and Hellas Verona respectively this summer.

Guardiola has confirmed that Laporte will be out until at least September. Laporte underwent surgery this summer on a knee problem that was bothering him towards the end of last season and the Spain centre-back is now set to miss the start of the season. Laporte’s absence is likely to end any lingering prospect of Ake leaving the club before the close of the transfer window at the end of next month.

“Laporte is injured,” Guardiola said. “He had knee surgery after last season, played the last two or three games with an important injury and made an incredible effort. So far he is doing really well but you have to be careful with a knee. I think he will be out for August. September I think maybe he will start to be with us.”

Meanwhile, Guardiola has revealed that City’s player leadership group are likely to vote next week on the next captain following the departure of Fernandinho at the end of last season.


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