Premier League

Liverpool agree £111m fee with Brighton for Ecuador midfielder – EPLheadlines

Moises Caicedo playing for Brighton
Brighton 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.

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.

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