Chelsea are finally advancing in talks to sign Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo this summer, it has been claimed, and are looking to complete a deal in time for their opening game of the season against Liverpool on Sunday.
The Blues have been chasing the Ecuadorian midfielder since January, and have seen a total of five bids rejected by the Seagulls this year, most recently thought to be a bid worth £80m.
The south-coast side have remained firm on their price tag of £100m, and having already lost Alexis Mac Allister this summer are in no rush to sell ahead of their first ever Europa League campaign.
Having seen Declan Rice move to Arsenal for £105m earlier in the summer, they feel that they can demand a similar amount for Caicedo, who is three years younger and, in their view, of a similar calibre.
Now, the Guardian report that ‘talks between the clubs are understood to have progressed this week’ and that the Blues are ‘trying to agree a deal in time for the midfielder to face Liverpool on Sunday’, which would need to see him registered by Friday at midday, just 36 hours time.
Caicedo himself is keen on the move despite signing a new contract with Brighton in February, and missed his current side’s most recent pre-season friendly in a bid to push through a move, though Brighton insist that it was due to a hamstring injury.
As it stands, Chelsea are heading into the new season with just Enzo Fernandez as a recognised defensive midfielder, though they are also in talks with Leeds United over a deal for Tyler Adams, who is available for £20m.
The arrival of Caicedo would be yet another statement signing from Todd Boehly and co., and would likely see at least one midfielder leave west London before the transfer window shuts.