Last season, Marc Cucurella was one of the most exciting left-backs in the Premier League with his outstanding balance between defence and attack proving invaluable for Graham Potter’s Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Spanish former Espanyol Academy player also grew through the La Masia ranks and played a senior game for Barcelona in the 2017 Copa Del Rey.
Barcelona loaned him to Eibar afterward and sold him for €2m with a buyback clause of €4m. When Cucurella looked to have been good enough, they bought him back and loaned him out to Getafe with an option to buy.
The initial agreement was a €6m sell-on option to Getafe with Barcelona due 40% of future sales. However, former Barcelona President, Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted Getafe paid €10m upfront while Barcelona will receive 10% on a future sale.
How did Barcelona lose out on Cucurella?
Getafe sold Cucurella to Brighton for €18m, with Barcelona getting just €1.8m. If Bartomeu had kept the percentage for future sale at 10%, Barcelona would have landed €7.2m instead, four times more than the money they got.
This is however common in football, especially by club chiefs who have a subjective understanding of a player’s potential.
Barcelona had invested €18m on the acquisition of Junior Firpo after selling Cucurella to Getafe but hardly enjoyed the defender’s services and had to sell to Leeds United at a loss.
With Jordi Alba nearing his final days as a Barcelona player, there is an urgent need for a replacement with many La Blaugrana faithful tipping the 24-year-old Cucurella as a decent choice.
His acquisition, at the moment however will cost an arm and a leg and a lot more than he was initially sold for.
Chelsea move to pip Man City to Cucurella signing: How will Barcelona gain from that?
Chelsea are reported to have signified interest in Cucurella with Thomas Tuchel believed to be a big fan.
Having had to contend with Barcelona for players all summer, Chelsea are looking to make a statement of intent in the transfer window.
More defensive reinforcements are needed and the Chelsea hierarchy are growing increasingly wary of fans backlash if good business is not conducted.
Cucurella was one of the best players in his position last season and can also play as a wing-back. Tuchel is desirous of having two quality options in the Spaniard and Ben Chilwell.
Should Cucurella join Chelsea, either Marcos Alonso or Cesar Azpilicueta has been tipped to join Barcelona with Alonso expected to be an interesting signing considering his strong attacking game.
Brighton have rejected two bids from Man City for Cucurella as they have failed to meet their valuation of the player.
While Brighton have held out for £50m (€60m), Cucurella already reported to hand in a transfer request and Chelsea looking to splash the cash.
Barcelona will once again gain in kind, despite their terrible decision some years ago.
It has been a summer of Barcelona in Chelsea’s affairs and fans want to see that reaction when football brings both teams together again.