Brighton defender Marc Cucurella hands in transfer request to force Manchester City move

Guardiola kept tight-lipped when questioned about Cucurella on Friday. “He’s a Brighton player, I can’t say anything else,” he said. “If it’s possible, yes, but if it’s not possible, we’ll stick with what we’ve got. joao [Cancelo] can play there, Nathan [Ake] can play there. I have never complained about the squad I have. I support the club as I always have.”

City – who play in the Community Shield at Leicester’s King Power Stadium on Saturday – are hoping to make Cucurella their fifth summer signing after striker Erling Haaland, midfielder Kalvin Phillips, striker Julian Alvarez and goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.

The champions have spent £110m so far but they have already recouped £232m in sales by 2022 and that figure could reach £250 before the summer is over as youngsters Samuel Edozie and Issa Kabore are still up for significant fees can leave.

City are also lining up for fancy resale clauses as Jack Harrison and Ivan Illic leave Leeds and Hellas Verona this summer respectively.

Guardiola has confirmed that Laporte will be out until at least September. Laporte underwent surgery this summer for a knee problem that hindered him towards the end of last season and the Spain centre-back will now miss the start of the season. Laporte’s absence will likely end any lingering prospect that Ake will leave the club before the end of the transfer window at the end of next month.

“Laporte is injured,” Guardiola said. “He had knee surgery after last season, played the last two or three games with a major injury and put in an incredible effort. So far he’s doing very well, but you have to be careful with a knee. I think he’s in it. August will be out. I think he might be with us in September.”

Meanwhile, Guardiola has revealed that City’s squad are likely to vote on the next captain next week following Fernandinho’s departure at the end of last season.

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