Oleksandr Zinchenko

PEP GUARDIOLA will step up his bid for Brighton’s Marc Cucurella to replace Oleksandr Zinchenko.

With Ukraine star Zinchenko heading to Arsenal for £30million, signing a new left-back is the only priority for the Manchester City boss.

Guardiola has dismissed reports he is after another forward despite allowing both Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling to leave earlier this month.

He also signed England midfielder Kalvin Phillips for £42m and back-up keeper Stefan Ortega to bolster his squad.

The Seagulls are believed to want up to £50m for Spaniard Cucurella, 23, but City are reluctant to go that high — so may end up looking elsewhere.

The full-back joined Brighton from Getafe last year following a £15.4m deal.

The Spain international enjoyed a stunning debut campaign at the Amex Stadium as he registered a total of 39 appearances across all competitions.

That led to the defender being named the club’s double player of the season.

Guardiola has known Cucurella for a long time as he started out at Barcelona’s esteemed La Masia academy when he was 14 years old.

City are in Houston, Texas, for a friendly against Club America tomorrow and Zinchenko is waiting for the green light to leave their training camp and travel across America to link up with his new team-mates at Arsenal.

Meanwhile, City could land a windfall of up to £5m if winger Jack Harrison, 25, joins Newcastle for £35m from Leeds this summer.

City inserted a clause for 20 per cent of any profit when he was sold to the Whites for £11m in 2021.

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