Chelsea have completed the signing of Marc Cucurella for over £60m, and couldn’t resist a petty dig at Brighton having announced the deal.
The left-back has agreed to a six-year deal and could make his debut for the Blues on Saturday against Everton.
Manchester City were keen on the Spain international, with their interest encouraging Cucurella to hand in a transfer request, but they were put off by the Seagulls’ asking price, which was rumoured to be £50m.
But Chelsea swooped and have paid an initial £55m for the 24-year-old, with £7m in potential add-ons.
And the Chelsea Twitter admin jibed Brighton following the announcement, repeating the format of their tweet earlier in the week denying reports that an agreement had been reached.
And yet, Cucurella is now a Chelsea player, as confirmed by those funny, funny guys running the Blues’ social media.
They tweeted: ‘CLUB STATEMENT: MARC CUCURELLA. Following reports from numerous media outlets this week, we can confirm an agreement has been reached with Brighton and Hove Albion for the signing of Marc Cucurella.’
The Barcelona academy graduate follows the arrivals of Raheem Sterling from Man City (£47.5m), Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli (£33m), Gabriel Slonina from Chicago Fire (£12m) and Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa (£20m) for a total expenditure of £172m so far, with further additions expected.
Cucurella will be vying for minutes at left-back with Ben Chilwell, but manager Thomas Tuchel says his new signing provides versatility across the backline.
“It helps for [fit-again] Ben to escape the pressure of ‘I have to deliver and we need you absolutely now’,” said Tuchel.
“We also have Marcos Alonso and Emerson but Marc is the option in this position and he can play very well in the back three. He has the profile of Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta) with a left foot. He gives us many options.
“Ben is very ambitious, he couldn’t wait to come back to team training. It seems he needs a bit more time to adapt to the rhythm and physicality of the match itself, which is normal. It’s a demanding league, and we have to take care with him and not throw him in.”
Levi Colwill has joined Brighton on a season-long loan from Chelsea, after a successful spell with Huddersfield last season.
Brighton boss Graham Potter said: “Levi has enormous potential and has already shown his ability last season in the Championship and with England at various age group levels up to under-21s.
“I am really looking forward to working with him on the training pitch, and in matches over the course of the season.
“He plays mostly at centre-back, but has also played on the left as a full-back, and he is a player who is comfortable on the ball.”