Moises Caicedo transfer news: Liverpool agree £111m fee with Brighton for Ecuador midfielder

11 August 2023 0 By Total Football News

By Simon StoneBBC Sport

Moises Caicedo playing for BrightonBrighton rejected an £80m bid for midfielder Moises Caicedo from Premier League rivals Chelsea in July

Liverpool have agreed a British record transfer fee of £111m with Brighton for midfielder Moises Caicedo.

However, Chelsea are now trying to secure a deal for the Ecuador international despite Brighton rejecting a succession of bids from the club earlier in the summer.

It is thought the 21-year-old's preference would be to move to Stamford Bridge.

It remains to be seen whether the Blues will now match Liverpool's bid.

Brighton had set a fee in excess of £100m for Caicedo and had said they felt no-one would reach it. Chelsea are believed to have bid £80m previously.

Seagulls boss Roberto de Zerbi gave his thoughts on the transfer saga before Brighton take on Luton Town in their opening Premier League game on Saturday at 15:00 BST.

"I have already forgotten about Moises," De Zerbi told a news conference. "I'm really proud of the players we have in the squad.

Moises Caicedo: De Zerbi says clubs can't buy Brighton's 'spirit and soul'

"We want to keep improving. The credit goes to the club. Bigger clubs can buy our players but they can't buy our soul or spirit.

"We are Brighton, we achieved a big target last year - the same as Liverpool, better than Chelsea. I would like players who are proud to play in Brighton."

Reds still searching for midfield replacements

Liverpool lost midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to the Saudi Pro League last month but signed Caicedo's Brighton team-mate Alexis Mac Allister in June for £35m.

Former Reds captain Henderson, 33, joined Al-Ettifaq in a deal worth £12m plus add-ons, while 29-year-old Brazilian Fabinho switched to Al-Ittihad for £40m.

Speaking on Friday, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: "I got told I can confirm a deal with [Brighton] is agreed.

"What did change is that we are a club with not endless resources, so things we didn't expect, a couple of things happening in the summer [Henderson and Fabinho], stuff like this.

"We didn't think about that before the summer and when it happened, we gave it a go and obviously, the club was really stretched there."

Klopp said he "didn't know" whether Caicedo was due on Merseyside for a medical on Friday and added he was not sure whether this would be the Reds' final business in the transfer window.

The fee agreed for Caicedo exceeds the £107m Chelsea paid for Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez earlier this year. The Seagulls would also profit if Caicedo is sold by Liverpool because of a sell-on clause in his contract.

Caicedo joined Brighton from Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle for £4m in February 2021 although he did not make his Premier League debut until April 2022.

He asked to leave Brighton in the January transfer window earlier this year. Arsenal then had multiple offers turned down for Caicedo before the player signed a new contract with the Seagulls until 2027 in March.

Klopp has been looking at various options to rebuild his squad after they finished fifth in the Premier League last season and failed to qualify for the Champions League.

However, the price they are prepared to pay for Caicedo comes as a surprise, as in April, the club said they would not make a move for England midfielder Jude Bellingham because of the money involved.

The 20-year-old later joined Real Madrid in a deal that could reach 133.9m euros (£115m).

Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, 19, has also been on Klopp's list of potential transfers, but the Reds have seen three bids rejected by the Saints, who reportedly value the Belgian at £50m.

While all the noise was around Chelsea's efforts to sign Caicedo, it is understood Reds chief executive Billy Hogan worked quietly behind the scenes to get this deal in place.

Brighton had a figure they wanted for Caicedo - someone they believe could go on to become one of the world's best - and Hogan's approach allowed Liverpool to get there.

It may deliver to Klopp one of the most exciting talents in the Premier League - albeit at a fee that reflects that.

According to Deloitte figures, if Liverpool signed Caicedo for £111m it would take this summer's Premier League spending to more than £1.6bn.

That is still below last year's record summer spend of £1.9bn - but is already the second highest, ahead of the £1.4bn spent in summer 2017.

Last season's total transfer spend in summer 2022 and January 2023 was £2.4bn, according to Deloitte.

The Premier League transfer window closes on Friday, 1 September at 23:00 BST.

Will Caicedo be Klopp's Ferrari?

Klopp has spoken previously about the huge sums of money involved in transfers and the implications it might have for the future of football.

In 2016, the German questioned spending £100m on a player after Manchester United re-signed France midfielder Paul Pogba for a then world record £89m.

"The day that this is football, I'm not in a job any more, because the game is about playing together," Klopp said.

"Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players. I want to do it differently.

"I would even do it differently if I could spend that money."

When asked about those comments during his news conference before Sunday's game against Chelsea, Klopp said: "Everything changed. Do I like it? No. Did I realise I was wrong? Yes.

"I'm not blaming anyone but it's just the market. In the end, we as a club have to make sure that, with our resources, we get the best possible player.

"We aren't in a dreamland and can't just point at a player and get them to come in. Sometimes one door closes and another opens up.

"I said that day what I thought and now I realise I was wrong. Easy to admit that."

In April, Klopp compared talk of big-money transfers with "a five-year-old asking for a Ferrari for Christmas".

"We cannot have six players in a summer, everyone for £100m," he said.

"What we need and what we want, we try absolutely everything to get it, but there are moments when you have to accept that this or that is not possible for us - you step aside and do different stuff."

With Arsenal spending £105m on England midfielder Declan Rice and Klopp in desperate need of reinforcements, Liverpool have joined the clubs willing to go above the £100m mark in order to secure a top player.

PlayerTransferFee
1. NeymarBarcelona to Paris St-Germain (2017)222m euros (£200m)
2. Kylian MbappeMonaco to Paris St-Germain (2017)180m euros (£165.7m)
3. Philippe CoutinhoLiverpool to Barcelona (2018)£142m
4. Ousmane DembeleBorussia Dortmund to Barcelona (2017)£135.5m (initial £96.8m)
5. Joao FelixBenfica to Atletico Madrid (2019)126m euros (£113m)
6. Enzo FernandezBenfica to Chelsea (2023)121m euros (£107m)
7. Antoine GriezmannAtletico Madrid to Barcelona (2019)120m euros (£107m)
8. Declan RiceWest Ham to Arsenal (2023)£105m
8. Jack GrealishAston Villa to Manchester City (2021)£100m
10. Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid to Juventus (2018)112m euros (£99.2m)
Currency conversions from time of transfer
£111m fee agreed between Liverpool and Brighton for Caicedo not included as transfer not yet completed
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