Chelsea and Liverpool goaded over Caicedo as Brighton make 'expectation' clear

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Chelsea and Liverpool goaded over Caicedo as Brighton make
Chelsea and Liverpool goaded over Caicedo as Brighton make 'expectation' clear

Brighton are goading Chelsea and Liverpool into a bidding war for in-demand midfielder Moises Caicedo.

Caicedo, 21, is high on Chelsea's list of priorities in the final month of the summer transfer window, while Liverpool continue to be linked with the Ecuadorian in their hunt for a new midfielder. But just like in January when Brighton managed to keep hold of him, the Seagulls currently expect him to stay, despite added interest from Saudi Arabia.

That's because no one has shown interest in meeting their lofty valuation, which is the same price as Arsenal paid for West Ham captain Declan Rice earlier this summer. According to Sky Sports, Brighton don't anticipate receiving a £105m offer before deadline day on September 1 and have been impressed with how Caicedo has dealt with the speculation.

Little over seven months ago, the 21-year-old handed in a transfer request amid interest from Chelsea and Arsenal, but his club stood firm and promptly got him to sign a new four-and-a-half year contract. Brighton are about to embark on their first ever campaign as a Europa League club and Caicedo wants to continue being a key player for influential boss Roberto de Zerbi.

Chelsea have long been keen on the Ecuador international, with manager Mauricio Pochettino recently claiming that he requires reinforcements in midfield. In turn, Caicedo has even labelled the Blues a "beautiful team."

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In an interview with La Cancha Con Majo, the midfield starlet confessed: "It's a big team, that's true. "A very historic team and I can't say no because it is a very big, historic, beautiful team. The city as well is beautiful."

Liverpool, too, are in need of new midfielders, having lost stalwarts Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to the Saudi Pro League. The Reds have Romeo Lavia at the top of their shortlist but Southampton aren't letting him go without a fight. Liverpool have already signed one player from Brighton this summer, Alexis Mac Allister, and De Zerbi is keen not to let the Reds swoop for another of his stars.

Have your say! Who should Moises Caicedo join - Chelsea or Liverpool? Give us your pick in the comments section.

Liverpool have already signed one player from Brighton this summer, Alexis Mac Allister, and De Zerbi is keen not to let the Reds swoop for another of his stars.

"We need to wait and see what happens with Caicedo," the Seagulls boss declared last month.

"Then we know what we need to do. I've not spoken with him yet, but of course I'd like him to stay. If he does leave, we need to buy another great player with the same characteristics and qualities. They are difficult to find. He's here, he's trained three days. But he needs time to condition. Right now, there is a possibility he can leave this window.

"What's he worth? It's not my job to say. But [he will be] very difficult to replace. I have no doubt he will cope if he stays. He's a great guy. But the market isn't closed so we must wait."

De Zerbi added: "At the moment, I have not received news that Caicedo can leave tomorrow or in the next week. I start next season with Caicedo in my head in the first XI for sure."

Nathan Ridley

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