Chelsea and Liverpool have been issued fresh hope in their respective pursuits of Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo. The Seagulls, who have proven to be shrewd operators in the transfer market in recent years, are reportedly scouting out a player who could conceivably come in as the Ecuadorian’s replacement.
Caicedo was virtually unknown at the start of last season, and he was hardly a household name by the end of it after just eight Premier League appearances and a loan spell with Belgian outfit Beerschot.
He has come on leaps and bounds this campaign, however, with 16 starts in 17 league matches and two goal contributions to boot. Caicedo’s energy, tenacity and technical ability in the middle of the park have caught the attention of top clubs, with Chelsea and Liverpool among those rumoured to be weighing up Brighton’s hefty £65million price tag.
The Seagulls are masters of uncovering new talent and they made huge profits last summer by selling Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella.
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From Chelsea and Liverpool’s perspective, Ayari may also give Brighton the nudge they need to cash in on Caicedo, who was signed for a modest £4.5m in 2021. Blues boss Graham Potter could be forced to reshuffle his midfield at the end of the season with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante both set to be out of contract, unless renewed terms can be agreed.
Potter knows Caicedo well from his time on the south coast and he was at the helm when Brighton snapped him up almost two years ago. The 21-year-old also fits the mould of an energetic Jurgen Klopp midfield player, and one that could take the next step in their career under the German.
“It doesn’t surprise me that people are looking at him because he is playing at a fantastic level,” said Potter while still in charge of Brighton last year. “As soon as you do research on him you realise he is a top kid, great person, young, playing in the Premier League, has all the attributes to play at the very, very highest level.
“But we know the position he is in and we know the position the club are in, which is why we don’t want to lose him. We don’t think we will, but in football you never know. That is how it is, but we are quite calm and confident.”