The Red Devils are assessing their left-back options after Luke Shaw recently suffered a muscle injury. United initially said that the England international would be sidelined for several weeks, with manager Erik ten Hag later confirming before Saturday’s chaotic comeback win over Nottingham Forest that he would be out for longer than Mason Mount, who is expected to miss up to six weeks with a hamstring problem.
Reports suggest Shaw could be facing up to two months in the treatment room, leaving United notably short on senior options on the left-hand side of defence with deputy Tyrell Malacia also currently out injured and Brandon Williams having been loaned out to Championship side Ipswich earlier this week.
United do have young Spanish defender Alvaro Fernandez as a potential option at left-back, while versatile right-back Diogo Dalot filled in on the opposite side in the 3-2 Premier League win over Forest at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Standard Sport understands that United are considering a number of potential new left-back options before the summer transfer window closes for business at 11pm BST on Friday night, including Cucurella.
However, it is unclear at this stage if Chelsea would be willing to sanction the Spaniard’s move to a top-flight rival.
Cucurella has struggled notably since moving to Stamford Bridge from Brighton in a deal worth more than £60million last summer and signing a six-year contract.
The 25-year-old was frequently criticised for his below-par defensive displays last season despite briefly reuniting with ex-Seagulls boss Graham Potter in west London, even booed by sections of Chelsea’s own fanbase during successive matches against West Ham and Borussia Dortmund in February.
Chelsea had been open to selling Cucurella this summer and sounded out clubs in Saudi Arabia over possible moves, with Atletico Madrid also briefly keen on a deal and links to Newcastle, who moved for Blues team-mate Lewis Hall instead.
However, the Spain international discouraged interest as he hoped to fight for his place at Chelsea and impress new manager Mauricio Pochettino, featuring during pre-season but yet to make an appearance during the early stages of the 2023/24 campaign, remaining an unused substitute for all three top-flight matches so far against Liverpool, West Ham and Luton.
Cucurella is firmly behind Ben Chilwell in the left-back pecking order under Pochettino, though the exit of popular academy graduate Hall to boyhood club Newcastle on an initial season-long loan deal that includes an obligation to buy worth up to £35m has thinned the ranks of back-ups somewhat, though the likes of Ian Maatsen remain on the books.
As well as Cucurella, United have also been linked with Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon and former Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso, now of Barcelona, as they weigh up a solution to their left-back crisis before the transfer deadline.
Ten Hag is without several players so early in the season due to injury, including new £72m striker Rasmus Hojlund, Shaw, Mount, Malacia, Amad Diallo, Kobbie Mainoo and Tom Heaton. Key centre-back Raphael Varane also suffered an issue during the win over Forest.