Liverpool’s hunt for a new defensive midfielder has stepped up a gear with a huge Moises Caicedo transfer fee now agreed between the Reds and Brighton. Here are the full details of the deal that could see the Ecuador international make a record breaking transfer.
It has been a summer of big money moves, particularly for young midfield players with Declan Rice moving to Arsenal for £105m, a record fee for an English player, although a sum that could eventually be eclipsed should Jude Bellingham succeed in Spain which would prompt Real Madrid into paying a series of add-ons to Borussia Dortmund.
Liverpool’s owners have largely been criticised for failing to keep up with market changes and trying to get deals done on the cheap. They were favourites to sign Romeo Lavia from Southampton while Chelsea was believed to be Moises Caicedo’s most likely next destination. However there have been some dramatic developments over the past 24 hours with the Reds making a massive offer for Caicedo while it’s Chelsea who now appear to be pushing hardest for Lavia.
Moises Caicedo transfer fee
Jurgen Klopp confirms Liverpool have agreed a British-record £111m transfer fee with Brighton for Moises Caicedo. 🔴🚨 pic.twitter.com/ud5sSSnHB1
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 11, 2023
Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Liverpool have agreed a deal with Brighton for the transfer of Moises Caicedo. Sky Sports are reporting the sum as a staggering £111m which would see the 21 year old’s potential move soar into the top five most expensive football transfers of all time.
If they’ve been relatively cautious until this point, Liverpool have clearly come to the conclusion that they have little choice but to spend big to avoid being left behind on the pitch. Their midfield has been massively depleted this summer with Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, James Milner and Fabio Carvalho among their many departures.
Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have arrived to add exciting new options in midfield but they are clearly very short in terms of numbers in that area of the pitch. The absence of an outright defensive midfielder is also a huge concern with Curtis Jones potentially needing to start the season in the role.
Liverpool’s plan now seems clear in that they want to partner Mac Allister with his old Brighton teammate Caicedo. The duo’s understanding on the pitch would help what could be an awkward transition to a new generation in the centre of the park for Liverpool. The success or failure of that process may largely determine how their 2023/24 season pans out.
A British record deal
The £35m release clause that Liverpool paid for Mac Allister early this summer looks like a better and better piece of business with each passing week and each ever more inflated transfer fee. The Merseyside could now potentially pay almost three times that sum for Caicedo though which would see them having paid nearly £150m to Brighton this summer for two players should the Ecuadorian agree to join the club.
The £111m figure would represent a British record transfer. That record currently belongs to Chelsea who paid around £107m for Enzo Fernandez in January with Declan Rice’s move to Arsenal second in that list.
This would be the third £100m plus signing by a Premier League club for a central midfielder in 2023 alone. It’s extraordinary how quickly prices have risen for players in that area of the pitch with mega money signings prior to this year almost always consisting of deals for forwards or attacking midfielders.
A potential twist
Chelsea this morning asked Moises Caicedo to wait as they explore a way of hijacking Liverpool's own hijack. Caicedo hasn't travelled for a medical yet. #LFC have a £111m deal agreed with Brighton, but #CFC actively exploring options. One of the craziest stories of any window.🇪🇨 pic.twitter.com/Y7prHVizx3
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) August 11, 2023
Despite Liverpool agreeing a fee for Caicedo, they are yet to convince the player that Merseyside should be his next destination. Indeed, the latest reports suggest the Ecuadorian is still holding out for a move to Chelsea who have long been admirers of the 21 year old.
Chelsea are not out of the race by any means and may now seek to hijack this deal with an improved offer to the Seagulls who will want the London club to match the £111m figure that they've agreed with Liverpool.
This has quickly turned into one of the most extraordinary transfer sagas of the summer and there remains the potential for another twist or two before we learn the midfielder’s final destination.