Premier League: Chelsea announce the signing of £60m defender ahead of Everton clash
- Marc Cucurella has moved from Brighton to Chelsea
- He played just a season for Brighton
- Cucurella has signed a 6-year contract with Chelsea
Chelsea FC have announced the signing of defender Marc Cucurella from Brighton ahead of the 2022-23 season.
After spending just a season at Brighton, Cucurella has joined Chelsea on a six-year deal, the Blues confirmed in a press release on Friday.
The soon-to-turn 24, Cucurella, had moved from Getafe to Brighton and took little time to get accustomed to the English football conditions. The right-back played 35 out of Brighton's 38 league games last season and played a key role in the Seagulls finishing ninth in the 2021-22 Premier League table.
"The versatile defender arrives just weeks after his 24th birthday following an impressive debut season in the Premier League with the Seagulls, during which time he made 38 appearances in all competitions and scored his only goal in their penultimate home game against Manchester United.
"Such was the positive and swift nature of his adaptation to English football, playing in a variety of roles on the left-hand side including full-back, wing-back, and centre-back, Cucurella was voted Player of the Season by both Brighton supporters and team-mates," read Chelsea's press release.
It is understood that even Manchester City were initially interested in Cucurella, who hails from FC Barcelona's youth academy La Masia. However, the Etihad side was not willing to match Brighton's asking price. Chelsea paid £60m for the Spanish defender, according to BBC Sport.
"I'm really happy. It's a big opportunity for me to join one of the best clubs in the world and I'm going to work hard to be happy here and help the team," said Cucurella after signing a deal with Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly also welcomed the young defender, saying he'll be the club's "present and future".
"Marc is an elite defender of proven Premier League quality and he further strengthens our squad going into the new season. We continue to work on and off the pitch, and we're delighted Marc will be a part of the present and future at Chelsea," said Boehly.
Cucurella made his senior debut during the 2017-18 season. He made one appearance for Barcelona, which was a Copa del Rey game, before he was sent off on loan to Eibar. Ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, Barcelona sent Cucurella once again on loan, this time to Getafe. After a season-long loan, Getafe signed the defender, who can play as both right-back and centre-back, permanently.
The Spain national spent two seasons at Getafe before he moved to England after receiving a contract from Brighton in 2021.
Chelsea are scheduled to begin their 2022-23 Premier League campaign with a trip to Merseyside on Saturday as they take on Everton at Goodison Park. Last season Chelsea finished third in the league, 19 points behind champions Manchester City and 18 behind second-placed Liverpool.