Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Chelsea’s move for Marc Cucurella and likened the defender to club stalwart Cesar Azpilicueta.
The Blues agreed a deal with Brighton worth in excess of £60million for the defender, with the player penning a six-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
The transfer comes as a welcome boost for Tuchel’s side as they prepare to get their campaign underway this weekend with a tricky clash with Everton taking place on Saturday.
Cucurella has attracted plenty of interest this summer, including admiring glances from Premier League champions Manchester City, but according to Tuchel, a deal is close.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference before the deal was finalised, he said: “Well it’s not done yet.
“I don’t want to tell you I know nothing about it but the paperwork is in process and hopefully we can get it finished before noon and Marc is our player.
“Marc is a fantastic player, young player. Young, hungry, mobile and very intelligent player and can play in several positions in our system.
‘Hopefully when things go through, Marc is the option [at left wing-back] but I think he can play very well in the back three.
“So he’s a bit like the profile of Azpilicueta, but with a left foot, and he gives us many options.”
Levi Colwill formed part of the deal with a loan move to Brighton also completed, something that Tuchel believes could be beneficial for him.
He said: “It’s hard to judge him, he came back and then there was not a lot of gametime for him in pre-season to give to him because of a little injury he caught in training.
“The situation is the situation, it’s very individual always. If there is a possibility for him to have a good loan or a situation where he can develop and improve we are open for any talks and any solutions.”
Given that Chelsea have missed out on deals for the likes of Jules Kounde, Matthijs de Ligt, Nathan Ake and Presnel Kimpembe in defence this summer, fans have been critical of the club’s transfer business.
But, according to Tuchel, it’s part and parcel of the challenges of life under new ownership.
Asked if the club are panicking, he replied: “‘Panicking? No, I would describe it as super hard-working and learning while on the job.
“The transfer market is one of the toughest things you can do when you come from the outside but I have nothing but compliments and the biggest respect for Todd.
“I don’t know when they sleep, I think maybe they never sleep. We have a very honest, open and direct line of communication and the transfers so far speak for themselves.
“We have a delay, of course. Nobody is guilty for that delay because of the sanctions, which led to the loss of key players. But both of the owners who are involved in the daily business are doing a fantastic job so far.”
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