Moises Caicedo, an Ecuadorian playmaker, signed with Chelsea on Monday for a claimed Premier League record fee of up to £115 million.
The Blues said that the 21-year-old has agreed to an eight-year deal at Stamford Bridge, with an option for a ninth year. Liverpool was also interested in signing him, but Chelsea beat them to it.
It’s the second time in seven months that Chelsea has broken the British transfer record. In January, they spent £107 million on Enzo Fernandez, which was at the time the record.
After Brighton set a limit for bids, Liverpool’s offer of £110 million was accepted on Friday.
But Caicedo turned down the chance to play for the Reds because he wanted to play for the Blues instead.
Caicedo said in a club release, “I am so happy to join Chelsea.”
“I’m so happy to be at this big club, and when Chelsea called me, I didn’t have to think twice about signing with them.
“It’s like a dream come true to be here, and I can’t wait to get started with the team.”
Chelsea will apparently pay £100 million up front, plus another £15 million in bonuses based on how well he does.C
Brighton got Caicedo from Independiente del Valle for only £4 million in 2021. This deal is a big return for them again.
But he has only been a regular player for the Seagulls for the past 18 months. Before that, he was on loan at Belgian team Beerschot for the first half of the 2021/22 season.
Last season, Brighton came in sixth in the Premier League, which was the first time in the club’s history that it qualified for European play.
David Weir, who is in charge of Brighton’s technical side, said, “Chelsea is getting one of the best midfielders in the world.”
“Over the past 18 months, Moises has been one of our best players.”
“A rare set of midfield skills”
Since the takeover by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and private finance group Clearlake Capital, Chelsea has spent close to £900 million on players in just three transfer windows.
But last season, they fell to 12th place in the Premier League, which was their worst finish since 1994.
Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool was a good start for the new boss, Mauricio Pochettino.
“Moises has a rare set of midfield skills and is a player we’ve been after for a while,” Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, co-sporting directors for Chelsea, said.
“We think he’ll make a big difference at Stamford Bridge this season and in the years to come.”
Another midfielder Liverpool wants, Southampton’s Romeo Lavia, is also said to want to move to Stamford Bridge. This would be a blow to Liverpool.
After captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho left for Saudi Arabia, Liverpool needs more players in the middle of the field badly.
Since the end of last season, Naby Keita, James Milner, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have also left Anfield because their contracts had run out.
Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai are the only two players Liverpool has signed so far. Both Alexis Mac Allister and Caicedo were stars for Brighton last season.