Graham Potter drops Marc Cucurella hint ahead Manchester United opener

Graham Potter insists Marc Cucurella can still feature against Manchester United this Sunday, despite handing in a transfer request last week

Brighton and Hove Albion's Marc Cucurella missed the last pre-season friendly against Espanyol amid speculation that his move to Man City has broken down
Brighton and Hove Albion's Marc Cucurella missed the last pre-season friendly against Espanyol amid speculation that his move to Man City has broken down

Brighton’s player of the season, Cucurella, has been heavily linked with a move away from the Amex this summer.

However, Manchester City’s bid of £30m fell way short of Brighton’s £50m valuation and it seems as though talks have now broken down – for the time being at least.

The 24-year-old was not included Brighton’s final pre-season match before the new campaign – a match that saw Potter’s team wallop La Liga outfit Espanyol 5-1.

“We’re confident and relaxed in our position,” said Potter, on the recent speculation surrounding Cucurella. “I don’t have too much to say it’s just part of modern-day football, that’ how I see it.

“Our fans understand the speculation that goes on during the transfer window. He had a feeling in his calf this week, so it didn’t feel right to risk him today.”

Goals from Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk and a hat-trick from Leandro Trossard has given the Seagulls the perfect momentum for their trip up to Old Trafford next Sunday.

After a fine performance, Potter said: “We’re as happy as you can be with pre-season. We attacked well, were the dominant team throughout and the score certainly reflected that in the end.”

Brighton finished last season on a strong run of form, which included a 4-0 win against Manchester United. Despite not having a home crowd against the Red Devils next weekend, Seagulls fans will hope their side can repeat the success they had last time out.

“It’s a fantastic game,” said Potter. “It’s always a tough match there. We have to prepare properly, recover from this week and try to be ready.”

Erik Ten Haag, Manchester United’s new manager, will make his Premier League debut against Potter on August 7.

Upon facing the Dutchman, Potter said: “They’ll be fighting for the points. With a new approach too, they’ll want to make a positive start, it’ll be tough.”

Brighton will hope to bolster their squad ahead of the season opener and continue to be linked with a move for Austrian midfielder Florian Grillitsch.