Chelsea enquire about exciting midfield capture for £10m less than asking price, leaving Liverpool and Newcastle behind

Tomas Soucek challenging Moises Caicedo

Chelsea are exploring a deal for Moises Caicedo and have even indicated to Brighton how much they would be willing to spend on the midfielder, according to a reporter.

Caicedo has earned plenty of admirers since joining Brighton from Independiente del Valle. Indeed, some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs already knew about his potential before then. The way he has adapted to English football has only added to his appeal.

Chelsea have been among the main admirers of Caicedo in recent weeks as he continues to enjoy a productive season in the top flight.

Across his Brighton career so far, Caicedo has played 30 times, scoring two goals and adding three assists. This season has been his busiest yet in Brighton colours, with 20 appearances across all competitions.

The Seagulls have seen many of their better players move on to bigger clubs in recent years. The likes of Benjamin White and Marc Cucurella have completed moves to teams competing for European qualification.

Cucurella, of course, went from Brighton to Chelsea in the summer. The move hasn’t quite worked out for him yet, but he could soon be followed by a former teammate.

According to CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs, Chelsea “have tested the water” with Brighton about a deal for Caicedo. They have discussed a transfer fee of around £65million.

However, Brighton’s asking price has risen to above £75m. Furthermore, they will not be selling him in January unless anyone meets their valuation.

That said, their CEO Paul Barber has indicated that he would understand if Caicedo wanted to progress elsewhere. Hence, it is over to his suitors to start putting together plans to sign him.

Chelsea could be his most likely destination, thanks to the presence of Graham Potter as head coach and Paul Winstanley – who helped bring Caicedo to Brighton – as director of global talent and transfers.

Indeed, Chelsea have already sought Winstanley’s opinion on how likely a deal for Caicedo may be.

January deal difficult for Moises Caicedo

In reality, it would be tricky in January, and they don’t need their director to tell them that. Brighton have made it quite clear of their own accord.

The side from the South Coast know there will be plenty of interest in Caicedo in the summer. Therefore, they are holding out for a high fee now in anticipation.

Chelsea could yet wait until nearer the end of the January transfer window to try their luck. They want to invest in their midfield given that Jorginho is likely to leave at the end of the season.

And although N’Golo Kante could stay via a new contract, he is no longer the long-term answer in the position. Chelsea have been keen to keep an eye to the future when building their squad in the Todd Boehly era, so Caicedo may help their evolution.

Yet it is not a given that Stamford Bridge will be his next destination. According to Jacobs, Caicedo is also on the radars of Liverpool and Newcastle United.

Liverpool, like Chelsea, are underachieving this season and their midfield has come under scrutiny. However, they might not be as serious for the Ecuador international, despite liking him since he was still developing in South America.

It is claimed that they do not think £75m for Caicedo would be good value for money. Therefore, they are less likely to be among the bidders.

Similarly, Newcastle – despite their immense financial power under their Saudi-backed ownership – would rather look more towards the budget end for transfer targets right now. Besides, they want a more creative midfielder than a defensive one like Caicedo.

They remain a club to keep an eye on in the race for the 21-year-old’s signature, though.

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