Premier League • England

Liverpool hijack £100m Chelsea transfer to infuriate another Prem side with Henderson, Fabinho replacement plan

Moises Caicedo, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho

Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo could replace Jordan Henderson and Fabinho at Liverpool

The potential sales of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to clubs in Saudi Arabia have prompted Liverpool to enter the race to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton, per a report.

It was evident going into the summer that Liverpool’s midfield would be about to evolve. But the ensuing changes have been more dramatic and widespread than expected.

After James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left on free transfers and Arthur Melo was sent back to Juventus after his loan spell, Liverpool have also allowed Fabio Carvalho to leave on loan for RB Leipzig.

And now, one of the biggest topics overshadowing Liverpool’s business is the potential exits of Henderson and Fabinho. Both of the midfielders are being tipped to join the wave of players moving to Saudi Arabia.

Club captain Henderson is seriously considering an offer from Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq. Meanwhile, Al Ittihad are ready to offer £40m for Fabinho, who – it has to be said – did not enjoy his finest season in 2022-23.

Should Liverpool lose Henderson and Fabinho – who made 92 appearances between them last season – there will be even more pressure on them to add another new midfielder to their squad.

The plan all along has been for them to sign three midfielders this summer. Alexis Mac Allister was the first from Brighton, before the second was Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig.

Now, talkSPORT is reporting that Liverpool could launch a second raid on Brighton for Caicedo if they suddenly need to replace Henderson and Fabinho in one go.

Caicedo would cost somewhere in the region of £100m, since Brighton are referring back to the price Arsenal will be paying to sign Declan Rice from West Ham.

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The Seagulls signed Caicedo to a new contract until 2027 after resisting interest from Arsenal and Chelsea during the January transfer window.

However, Chelsea have become a serious threat to take him away again. Recently, they have appeared to become the favourites to sign the Ecuador international.

But should Liverpool sell Henderson and Fabinho, they might be able to put some of those funds towards their own attempt to sign Caicedo.

Caicedo could fill final midfield void at Liverpool

Both of the midfielders they have brought in so far this summer are more attack-minded than Henderson or Fabinho, so they would need to secure a more defensive replacement if those two were to depart.

Of Caicedo’s 40 starts for Brighton in 2022-23, 32 were as a holding midfielder, which would make him an ideal fit for Liverpool if they needed someone there.

The question is whether they would be willing to engage in a bidding war with Chelsea for the 21-year-old. After all, the windfalls they would receive for Henderson and Fabinho would not be enough alone to fund a nine-figure bid for Caicedo.

How Brighton would feel about doing further business with Liverpool could go one of two ways. It may be frustrating for them to lose Caicedo after Mac Allister, but they did manage to pick up Milner on a free transfer in the opposite direction.

No negotiations between the clubs were required for that to happen, though, since Milner was becoming a free agent.

Liverpool would have to sit down with Brighton if they became serious about signing Caicedo, for what could take them to the territory of a club-record fee.

But they would be hoping it could fix their midfield issues once and for all by completing their rebuild.