Liverpool have reached an agreement with Brighton for the transfer of Moises Caicedo, setting a new British record fee. However, the Reds are facing stiff competition from Chelsea for the Ecuadorian midfielder. Jurgen Klopp confirmed that a deal has been struck, potentially amounting to £110 million, but reports suggest that Chelsea is prepared to make a similar bid for the 21-year-old. Although Chelsea’s previous offer was £80 million, significantly below Brighton’s valuation, they are now ready to make another attempt to sign Caicedo, who reportedly prefers a move to Stamford Bridge.
Adding to the complexity of the situation is the ongoing negotiation over Southampton’s Romeo Lavia, another highly-rated midfielder that interests both Klopp and Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino. Liverpool has made several bids for Lavia but has yet to meet Southampton’s asking price, which has led to a stand-off that might have prompted Chelsea’s involvement. Reports suggest that Chelsea is willing to spend over £50 million to secure Lavia, potentially bringing both him and Caicedo to the club in a significant midfield revamp. Whether Liverpool can regain the upper hand in this deal if they miss out on Caicedo remains uncertain.
Klopp is eager to reinforce his midfield options, with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho leaving for the Saudi Pro League last month, and Naby Keita and James Milner also departing recently. Rumors surrounding Thiago Alcantara’s potential move to Saudi Arabia have also surfaced. Despite signing Caicedo’s former Brighton teammate Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig, Liverpool missed out on Jude Bellingham, who joined Real Madrid for a deal that could rise to £115 million.
Regarding the Caicedo transfer, Klopp stated, “I can confirm the deal with (Brighton) is agreed, whatever that means because we want the player and not any kind of agreement, we will see.” When asked about Caicedo’s medical and whether this signing would conclude Liverpool’s business in the summer window, Klopp remained tight-lipped, saying, “Let’s do it step by step, let’s see what happens in the next hours or days.”
The fee for Caicedo surpasses the previous British record of £107 million that Chelsea paid for Enzo Fernandez in January. However, Liverpool also holds its own record for the highest transfer payment, having spent £75 million on Virgil van Dijk in 2018. Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi expressed his indifference to Caicedo’s departure, stating, “I would like to answer only one time (on Caicedo). I’ve already forgotten Moises. Moises is leaving and is not important for me now.” Pochettino remained elusive when asked about Caicedo, highlighting the intriguing battle between Chelsea and Liverpool ahead of their clash on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
Klopp was reminded of his past criticisms regarding paying exorbitant fees for players, but he now acknowledged his mistake and acknowledged that player prices will continue to rise, especially with Saudi Arabia emerging as a rival to Europe’s top leagues. He stated, “Everything changed. Do I like it? But did I realize I was wrong? Definitely.” Klopp also emphasized the club’s commitment to building the best possible team with their resources and acknowledged the challenging nature of player acquisitions.