Chelsea have reportedly reached a deal with Brighton & Hove Albion for the signing of midfielder Moises Caicedo for a British record fee of £115 million.
The Blues had competed with Liverpool for the signing of the Ecuador international and appeared to have conceded defeat to the Reds, who had a £110 million offer approved on Thursday night.
Chelsea had already turned down offers of up to £100 million from the Seagulls, but Liverpool were taken aback when they learned that Caicedo only intended to join Mauricio Pochettino’s side this summer.
As a result, the Blues relaunched their pursuit of the former Independiente del Valle youth, and a £115 million agreement is already in place, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Moises Caicedo to Chelsea done deal: Medical Today?
Caicedo is set to have his Chelsea medical on Monday and sign an eight-year contract with the club, with the option to extend his stay until the summer of 2032.
With his nine-figure transfer, the 21-year-old will officially become the most expensive player in British football history, surpassing Enzo Fernandez’s £106 million move from Benfica to Chelsea in January.
The £115 million transfer cost will also create a new record for the largest transfer fee between two British clubs, which was only recently broken by Declan Rice’s £105 million move from West Ham United to Arsenal.
Caicedo was on Manchester United’s radar during his time with Independiente del Valle, but the Red Devils ultimately decided against a trade, allowing Brighton to get him for £4.3 million.
Since then, the Ecuadorian lynchpin has scored two goals and set up three more in 53 appearances for Roberto De Zerbi’s side, assisting the Seagulls to qualify for the Europa League for the first time in 2022-23.
Caicedo made a memorable attempt to quit the Amex in January, when Arsenal fought tooth and nail to get him to the Emirates, releasing a bombshell message on social media stating his wish to depart.
Brighton, on the other hand, barred any exit for the 21-year-old, and they later secured a deal with Caicedo until 2027 with the possibility of a further year to maintain his value.
Caicedo will become the Blues’ ninth acquisition of the summer, joining Christopher Nkunku, Robert Sanchez, Axel Disasi, Nicolas Jackson, Lesley Ugochukwu, Diego Moreira, and Angelo Gabriel.
The Blues are also set to beat Liverpool to the signing of Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, though the Reds are said to be willing to match the Blues’ £55 million bid.
A bid for Leeds United’s Tyler Adams was discussed prior to the Caicedo agreement, but the American, who has a £20 million relegation clause in his Whites contract, is no longer likely to join Chelsea.
Chelsea started the Pochettino era with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Sunday, and the Blues are now preparing to go to West Ham United for a London derby next weekend, where Caicedo might make his debut for the capital giants.
For more Sports updates please follow us on Twitter