Chelsea have made significant progress on their pursuit of Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, according to a report.
Caicedo is claimed to be Mauricio Pochettino’s top target to strengthen in midfield, which is a position that has been ripped apart this summer. To reinforce it in ideal fashion, they would have to spend big on the Ecuador international.
Brighton have so far rebuffed their attempts to take him away from the Amex Stadium. The most recent Chelsea bid came to £80m, but still wasn’t enough to tempt Albion into a sale.
Reports have since suggested Chelsea will do their all to get their hands on Caicedo, even if it means meeting the £100m asking price that Brighton have set.
While it is not yet clear if their next bid will reach that value, an update from The Guardian has claimed that Chelsea ‘are closing in’ on signing Caicedo after talks with Brighton ‘progressed’ this week.
In fact, Pochettino’s side are now hopeful of having Caicedo at their disposal when their Premier League campaign kickstarts against Liverpool on Sunday.
Caicedo was recently absent from Brighton’s final pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, which was attributed to a hamstring injury. He also missed training on Monday, but The Guardian‘s sources say that was not because of injury after all.
It is suggested that Caicedo is ‘frustrated’ that he has not been able to leave Brighton for Chelsea yet. A number of weeks ago, Marc Cucurella – who made the same move last year – said that his former teammate wants to arrive at Stamford Bridge.
“I think he wants to come here, I’ve read in the media lots of times,” Cucurella said at a press conference.
“I have a good relationship with him, he is a good midfielder and if he comes I think we have a top midfielder for a long time.”
The pair could indeed soon be reunited if Chelsea’s confidence is not misplaced.
Chelsea ready to replenish their midfield
In January, Chelsea sold Jorginho to Arsenal, before a summer window which has seen N’Golo Kante released for Al-Ittihad, Mason Mount sold to Manchester United, Mateo Kovacic to Manchester City, Ruben Loftus-Cheek to AC Milan, and Denis Zakaria returned to Juventus.
They now need to replenish the department and are in talks to sign Tyler Adams from Leeds United, as well as submitting the best bid yet this year for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia.
These pursuits all follow the club-record capture of Enzo Fernandez from Benfica during the winter window at the start of the year.
The amount of money they spent to sign him may have backfired, though. Per The Guardian, Brighton are using that valuation as a benchmark for how highly they can sell Caicedo for.
Another nine-figure investment may have to be made if Chelsea are to pair up the Argentina international with another South American star.