The long and winding transfer saga of Brighton star midfielder Moises Caicedo appears to have finally, inevitably landed at Chelsea in a Premier League-record move.
Caicedo, a 21-year-old Ecudorian, nearly left the Seagulls for Arsenal in the January transfer window. But Brighton were reluctant to sell at the time.
When the Gunners switched their attention to West Ham midfielder Declan Rice this summer, it left Chelsea as the primary suitor for Caicedo.
But Brighton and Chelsea have not been on the best of terms.
The Blues poached Brighton coach Graham Potter mid-way through the 2022-23 season and gutted much of the staff as well.
That move proved disastrous, as they fired Potter just months later.
So when Chelsea came calling this summer, Brighton played hardball. The Seagulls insisted young center back Levi Colwill be included in the move after spending the previous season on loan from Chelsea to Brighton.
When the Blues shut that move down, Brighton insisted nothing short of £100M.
Chelsea were reluctant to pay that fee and Caicedo expressed his displeasure with Brighton for not letting him leave.
This led to a standoff, with the south coast club setting a Thursday-night deadline to bid.
At which point, Chelsea’s Premier League rival Liverpool appeared to have swept in with a £110M offer to seal the deal. Many saw this as Brighton’s way of getting back at Chelsea.
As of Thursday night, the deal seemed done.
But Friday brought more drama.
BREAKING: One source has told Sky Sports News Moises Caicedo has rejected the chance to join Liverpool. ❌ 🚨
It's understood his preferred destination is Chelsea 🔵 pic.twitter.com/oOL6WIE4bd
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 11, 2023
Moises Caicedo was supposed to undergo his medical and sign a contract, but he refused to travel to Liverpool as he waits for Chelsea.
— Simon Phillips (@siphillipssport) August 11, 2023
Several outlets reported that Caicedo had rejected the move to Liverpool and instead chosen to honor an earlier agreement with Chelsea. Though that left Brighton and the Blues back at the bargaining table.
Now it appears the two sides are likely to come to an agreement, with Caicedo joining the London club in the coming days.
🚨 Chelsea are ready to beat Liverpool to the signing of Moisés Caicedo by raising their offer and they believe Caicedo prefers a move to them. Caicedo is yet to agree personal terms with Liverpool.
— Brighton Bubble (@BrightonBubble) August 11, 2023
The move also comes with the news that Chelsea has stopped its pursuit of American Tyler Adams.
Chelsea are prepared to leave talks for Adams despite medical tests already done. Documents were not signed yet.
Full focus on Caicedo. pic.twitter.com/0DdPnv2eUR
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 11, 2023
Adams looked set to join the Blues just days ago, but could now join Brighton as a replacement for Caicedo.