2KG1CEM Al Khor, Qatar. 20th Nov, 2022. Moises Caicedo of Equador during the FIFA World Cup 2022 match at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor. Picture credit should read: David Klein/Sportimage Credit: Sportimage/Alamy Live News

Contrasting claims on Moises Caicedo transfer as player ‘prefers Chelsea move’

Liverpool’s record-breaking deal for Moises Caicedo is not done yet, with contrasting claims over whether a move to Chelsea could still be on.

As Brighton held talks with both Liverpool and Chelsea late on Thursday, the Sussex club set a deadline for clubs to submit their bids.

An offer of £111 million arrived from Anfield, eclipsing the £100 million bid from Stamford Bridge, and on Friday morning Jurgen Klopp confirmed a deal had been agreed.

However, the manager was keen to stress that nothing was finalised yet, with Caicedo due to undergo a medical and sign off on personal terms.

There has been a new twist just over an hour later, then, with reports from London that Chelsea are still looking to hijack the deal.

Both the Independent‘s Miguel Delaney and the Guardian‘s Jacob Steinberg have reported that the London club were hoping to revive a deal.

Delaney explained that there is a belief at Chelsea that “they have a superior offer to the player and that they can trump the Anfield club on price.”

2PAW3CP Moises Caicedo #25 of Brighton & Hove Albion during the Premier League match Leeds United vs Brighton and Hove Albion at Elland Road, Leeds, United Kingdom, 11th March 2023 (Photo by Flynn Duggan/News Images)

It comes after a lengthy pursuit of the 21-year-old from those among Chelsea‘s hierarchy, with a number of bids already rejected by Brighton this summer.

Caicedo has been based in London after leaving training with Brighton earlier in the week, and was expected to head to Merseyside for the next stages of his move.

Sky Sports’ Dharmesh Sheth has claimed, though, that the midfielder is now “having second thoughts” over whether to take up Liverpool’s offer.

The reporter explains that Caicedo and his agents are still in London, though there had been “no official word [that] Chelsea have returned.”

Journalist Chris Williams has brought a direct line from the player’s representatives, however, confirming a new offer from Chelsea.

2K6GAKY 08 Oct 2022 - Brighton and Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Amex Stadium Brighton's Moises Caicedo during the Premier League match at the Amex Stadium. Picture : Mark Pain / Alamy Live News

But it is maintained from their side that “as far as they are aware Brighton have closed the deal and accepted Liverpool’s offer.”

Williams added: “There is no issue with Liverpool’s offer, either to the player or to Brighton. Medical is booked and Caicedo is expected to travel to Liverpool shortly but Chelsea are trying everything to open channels with Brighton again.”

Sheth’s Sky Sports colleague Melissa Reddy, meanwhile, has reported that “nothing has changed as far as Brighton are concerned.”

“While Chelsea haven’t thrown in the towel – offering the player improved personal terms – it’d take a lot for them to sway this,” Reddy wrote.

According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Caicedo has now informed Liverpool he will only join Chelsea.

It remains to be seen how the situation will pan out, or whether Brighton will reopen negotiations having already agreed terms with Liverpool.

If it is as Sheth claims, though, it could serve as another red flag for the Merseyside club over Caicedo, who was involved in a clumsy push to leave Brighton for Arsenal in January.

Arsenal were hoping to land a £60 million deal for the Ecuador international, but with Brighton holding firm on their £75 million valuation, he issued a public transfer request.

That failed and Caicedo went on to sign a new five-year contract with Brighton in March, increasing his price tag vastly with no release clause included.