Chelsea have completed the signing of Marc Cucurella from Brighton in a deal that could rise to around £62million.
The Spanish defender becomes Chelsea’s fifth signing of the summer and takes their total spending under new owner Todd Boehly to over £150m.
Chelsea moved to sign Cucurella, who arrived at Brighton for £15m just last season, after Manchester City refused to meet the asking price for the 24-year-old.
Chelsea academy prospect Levi Colwill moves in the other direction on a season-long loan after the Blues were insistent that the 19-year-old would not leave on a permanent deal.
On Wednesday, Brighton issued a statement denying “inaccurate” reports that Chelsea had reached a £52 million deal for Cucurella but would have seen Colwill join Brighton for around £25 million.
Cucurella is a left-sided defender who can play either as a wing-back or as a centre-back in a three-man defence.
The arrival of Cucurella means that Marcos Alonso is now expected to leave the club and complete a long-rumoured move to Spanish giants Barcelona, after Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta signed a new two-year deal on Thursday.
The signing of Cucurella continues a busy summer of transfer activity for Chelsea under Boehly’s ownership. The Blues have already signed Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Carney Chukwuemeka and Gabriel Slonina while they are now expected to step up interest in Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Leicester defender Wesley Fofana.
Premier League champions City had identified Cucurella as a target this summer following the departure of Oleksandr Zinchenko but pulled out of negotiations after Brighton declared an asking price of around £50m.
Cucurella becomes the second most expensive transfer of the summer in the Premier League, following Liverpool’s signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica for an initial £67.5m.