Erik ten Hag wants Manchester United to sign Chelsea wing-back Marc Cucurella this week to fill the void of injuries to Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia in the role

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag wants to sign Chelsea wing-back Marc Cucurella over other options in a deal that would see Alvaro Fernandez leave Old Trafford.

The Red Devils were intent on signing an experienced player capable of playing at left-back following injuries to both Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia. Brandon Williams has departed on a season-long loan deal to Ipswich, meaning Diogo Dalot deputised in the position in Saturday’s win over Nottingham Forest.

United had drawn up a three-player shortlist for the position which consisted of Cucurella and two other Spanish left-backs; Barcelona ’s Marcos Alonso, formerly of Chelsea, and Sergio Reguilon – who has returned to Tottenham following a loan spell at Atletico Madrid.

However, a report in Marca details that Cucurella was Ten Hag’s preference and that United will seek to close a short-term deal for the player imminently. That will see Fernandez exit the club ahead of joining newly-promoted La Liga outfit Granada.

Fernandez spent last season on loan at Preston in the Championship and returned to Old Trafford this summer, featuring in pre-season training for United. The 20-year-old had been likely to go out on loan once again this season after boss Erik ten Hag took a closer look at the Spaniard to evaluate his progress.

The 20-year-old joined the Red Devils from Real Madrid back in 2020 but he has yet to make a competitive appearance for United’s first team. After more than 40 appearances in Premier League 2, though, he secured a loan move to Preston – where he provided six assists – a year ago to give him a taste of senior football.

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Cucurella struggled during his debut campaign at Chelsea after starring for Brighton Cucurella struggled during his debut campaign at Chelsea after starring for Brighton (


Federico Guerra Maranesi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The former Spain Under-19 international impressed during a season at Deepdale in which he made 42 appearances. Fernandez has one year remaining on his Old Trafford contract and the club have an option to extend that arrangement by a further year. Ten Hag is keen to allow more youth-team products a place in his squad, after the promotions of Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo, while Hannibal Mejbri is also set for first-team involvement this campaign.

Cucurella struggled at Stamford Bridge after a landmark £56million transfer from Brighton last summer. He failed to hit his top form throughout the campaign despite being reunited with his former Seagulls boss Graham Potter for six months during the season.

Ben Chilwell is Chelsea’s first choice at left wing-back, meaning that they are open to moving on the Spaniard to reduce their wage bill and recoup a loan fee. Cucurella emerged through Barcelona’s youth system before starring for Eibar, Getafe and Brighton.

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