Brighton and Hove Albion are negotiating with Arsenal for the loan of Nuno Tavares, but it appears to depend on the uncertain transfer of Marc Cucurella.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Emile Smith Rowe celebrates with teammate Nuno Tavares of Arsenal after scoring their team's second goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND: Emile Smith Rowe celebrates with teammate Nuno Tavares of Arsenal after scoring their team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on October 30, 2021. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

With the return of Premier League football still not quite at hand, check out www.thepunterspage.com while you wait for the competitive action to get underway. Before that, Arsenal will hope to resolve the future of defender Nuno Tavares.

Portuguese outlet O Jogo report that Brighton are looking at Arsenal’s Tavares as an alternative to Marc Cucurella, who has been linked with Manchester City as they sell Oleksandr Zinchenko – to Arsenal.

Brighton are reportedly trying to agree a loan with Arsenal, who would obviously be more willing to sanction the move with Zinchenko and Kieran Tierney on the books.

O Jogo claim Marseille are also an option for Tavares, though that avenue does seem to be growing increasingly unlikely.

L’Equipe have claimed that Tavares has no interest in leaving Arsenal for Marseille, and reports suggest talks between the two clubs are not progressing.

Marseille were hoping for a loan with a purchase option included, but Arsenal haven’t agreed to that. As a result, the Ligue 1 side are starting to look at other targets.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Nuno Tavares of Arsenal in action during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford at Emirates Stadium on November 07, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Nuno Tavares of Arsenal in action during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford at Emirates Stadium on November 07, 2021. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Brighton therefore appear to be the leading contender for Tavares’ signature, but there’s a problem with their pursuit as well.

As mentioned, Brighton would be bringing Tavares in as a replacement for Cucurella. According to The Athletic, Manchester City have bid £30m for the defender, but that offer was rejected out of hand.

Brighton are hoping to earn £50m for Cucurella’s sale, a valuation that City appear particularly unwilling to meet. Personal terms aren’t expected to be a problem if the two clubs can reach an agreement.

Talks will continue, but City are tempted to walk away if Brighton’s demands don’t come down.

There’s obviously some potential for the situation to stall here. We saw last summer that Brighton don’t easily give in, as they held out for close to their initial valuation for Ben White.

Alternatively, City might walk away completely and focus on other targets, leaving Cucurella with his current club. If the two sides don’t reach an agreement, the loan signing of Tavares becomes a non-issue.

It’s a shame, as the Brighton loan could work well for Tavares. He could work on adapting to Premier League football in a club offering him regular minutes, slightly more under the radar than at Arsenal. But it’s out of his hands for the moment.

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