2NHPWCC Moises CAICEDO (23) of ECUADOR reacts after scoring in the second half of the FIFA World Cup Group A match ECUADOR vs SENEGAL at Khalifa International Stadium in Ar-Rayyan, Qatar on November 29, 2022. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )

Moises Caicedo’s agent explains preference after failed Liverpool move

Moises Caicedo’s agent has indicated that the midfielder “only wanted Chelsea” after Liverpool’s summer pursuit fell through.

At one stage, the Ecuadorian looked destined for Anfield after what would have been a British record £111 million deal was agreed with Brighton last month.

It came after weeks of negotiations with Chelsea had failed to result in a transfer, but the London club went on to trump Liverpool’s offer to secure the signing at £115 million.

Speaking on the Reds’ failed attempts to land the player, Caicedo’s agent Andrea Pellegatti has claimed that his client “only wanted Chelsea” after the two clubs “fought” for his signature.

“£116 million, equivalent to €133 million euros. The result of long work on the player, who quickly progressed in England after moving to Belgium,” Pellegatti told Sport Italia when discussing the eventual deal.

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

“With De Zerbi, he exploded and then we arrived at Chelsea and Liverpool who fought over it.

“The amount paid is no accident. It was finalised in the last few hours, but the boy only wanted Chelsea, who had started to express their interest in a consistent manner since January.”

Liverpool’s approach for Caicedo came somewhat out of the blue after negotiations with Southampton to sign Romeo Lavia had begun to stall.

The Reds turned their attention back to Lavia after the Caicedo move fell through, only for the Belgian to also opt for a switch to Stamford Bridge over Anfield.

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)

Wataru Endo arrived from Stuttgart a few weeks later for £16 million before the club shifted their focus to “multi-functional” midfield options.

The summer business was concluded when Ryan Gravenberch became the fourth midfield acquisition of the window, but his long-term role within the side remains uncertain.

It appears Chelsea‘s long-standing interest was enough to get the deal over the line and caused Liverpool to change tack somewhat in the weeks that followed.

Whether the Reds will regret allowing the player to slip through their fingers remains to be seen, but the midfielder has made a less-than-impressive start to his Chelsea career so far.