Chelsea are actively working on a deal to sign Brighton’s Moises Caicedo for a British record transfer fee of £115m after the midfielder rejected Liverpool.
Caicedo wants to move to Stamford Bridge after turning down the chance to join Liverpool, despite the Reds agreeing a British record £111m fee with Brighton.
Chelsea were prepared to offer £100m for the 21-year-old but are now trying to raise their bid to £115m, which would break the British transfer record fee paid by the Blues who paid £106.8m for midfielder Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in January.
Caicedo is expected to travel to Liverpool for a medical on Friday after Jurgen Klopp’s side had a bid accepted by Brighton after the midnight deadline for bids on Thursday.
But Caicedo had a change of heart and told Liverpool he didn’t want to join. He stayed in London and made it clear he only wanted to leave Brighton for Chelsea, who have been chasing him all summer.
Chelsea want to sign two midfielders this summer with the west Londoners close to a deal with Southampton to sign Romeo Lavia, who remains a Liverpool target.
A source said Sky Sports News they are interested in signing Caicedo and Lavia.
The developments come on the day talks between Chelsea and Leeds United regarding the signing of Tyler Adams broke down after the parties failed to reach an agreement.
Carragher: Big blow for Liverpool if Caicedo doesn’t play
Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports:
“If he wants to go to Chelsea, and he has given them his word and he has spoken to the manager, he doesn’t want to break that promise, you can say ‘fair enough’.
“Liverpool came late because they didn’t want to pay a certain price for Romeo Lavia. The price for Caicedo is big, but Liverpool might be more desperate than Chelsea.
“I am desperate for him to go to Liverpool because the demand for him is probably greater. It will be a big blow.
“Caicedo should always be Liverpool’s first choice, and if you don’t get him then fair enough, you move to Lavia as your second choice.
“It feels like it’s almost the wrong way around and they now have to go back to Southampton and pay the £50m they want for the player.”
Redknapp: I’m surprised Caicedo turned Liverpool down, he would have been perfect
Former Liverpool captain and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp on the Essential Football Podcast:
“I’m obviously biased on one of these – but it’s amazing to me!
“Usually Liverpool always, always wins these hands. I just thought it was inevitable. I woke up as a Liverpool fan, very happy about that. But after hearing the news that he turned down Liverpool… Believe I did it when I saw him in a Chelsea shirt.
“I thought he looked good in the red kit. I thought he was the perfect signing for Liverpool.
“I get the attraction of Chelsea. It’s a big club. They’ve won a lot of things over the years. But I think about the history of the clubs, I’m amazed, especially with Caicedo joining Alexis Mac Allister, I thought this was a perfect move.
“It’s definitely interesting for Southampton because they go, ‘OK, you want Romeo Lavia, you have to pay top dollar for him now. ,’ You’re always our first choice and that proved not to be the case. him’. But that’s football sometimes and I’m sure they have to come back, in that part.”
Analysis: From crying teenager to in-demand star
After his country’s exit from the World Cup last year, when other players headed to high-end holiday resorts, Moises Caicedo returned to Santo Domingo, Ecuador, playing in a local tournament in the same dusty pitch he used as a child. .
In footage that has gone viral in the country, Caicedo, a budding Premier League star who recently became Ecuador’s youngest scorer in a World Cup, can be seen finding the net again, only this time as a ringer in Caicedos FC, a team made up of family members.
His goal, placed at the near post in ramshackle surroundings, helped Caicedos FC win the tournament and was celebrated with a jump, a fist pump, and a gesture of recognition by several hundred spectators sitting or leaning on the fences around the pitch.
“This is Moises,” Miguel Angel Ramirez, Caicedo’s former coach at his boyhood club Independiente del Valle, told Sky Sports with a smile. “Returning to his village, his family, his friends, playing football, helping everyone there. He will not forget his people…”