Negotiations stalled as Chelsea, Brighton clash over Caicedo’s price

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Negotiations stalled as Chelsea, and Brighton clash over Caicedos price.—Twitter@TheBlueDodger
Negotiations stalled as Chelsea, and Brighton clash over Caicedo’s price.—[email protected]

Chelsea is determined to maintain a firm stance in the ongoing negotiations for Moisés Caicedo, as Brighton insists on a minimum fee of £100m for the midfielder. 

Caicedo is the primary target for Chelsea as they seek to strengthen their midfield under the guidance of manager Mauricio Pochettino. While Chelsea hopes that an offer of around £80m would be sufficient to secure the services of the Ecuadorian international, Brighton believes that the benchmark has been set by Declan Rice’s imminent £105m transfer from West Ham to Arsenal.

Rice is on the verge of becoming the most expensive British player, and Chelsea themselves broke the British transfer record in January when they signed Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernández from Benfica for £106.8m. These figures have not gone unnoticed by Brighton, and it is understood that their demands have slowed down the negotiations with Chelsea regarding Caicedo throughout the week.

Brighton, who have already lost midfielder Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool, are determined to drive a hard bargain. They turned down bids from Arsenal and Chelsea for Caicedo in January, and the 21-year-old has since signed a contract until 2027, with an option for an additional year. The positive aspect for Pochettino is that Caicedo is keen on a move to Stamford Bridge.

With the departures of N’Golo Kanté, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, and Mateo Kovacic, and the sale of Jorginho to Arsenal in January, Chelsea is in need of midfield reinforcements. Talks are scheduled next week to explore the possibility of signing Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga. Veiga has a buyout clause of £34.4m and is being pursued by Liverpool, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester City.

Chelsea is determined not to overpay for Caicedo and is cautious about repeating past experiences of challenging negotiations with Brighton. The two clubs have engaged in extensive dealings over the past year, starting with Marc Cucurella’s move from Brighton to Chelsea for £62m. Subsequently, Chelsea recruited Brighton’s head coach Graham Potter in September, and their co-sporting director Paul Winstanley also joined from the club.

Winstanley, a key figure in Chelsea’s transfer activities, is familiar to Brighton’s negotiators. The objective will be to find a compromise regarding Caicedo. However, Chelsea remains adamant about not including Levi Colwill in any potential deal. Colwill spent the previous season on loan at Brighton, who have had a £30m bid rejected. Chelsea intends to offer the 20-year-old center-back a new long-term contract.

A rebuilding process is underway at Stamford Bridge, and César Azpilicueta has become the latest long-serving player to depart. The 33-year-old defender, who joined Chelsea in 2012, has left on a free transfer and signed a one-year deal with Atlético Madrid. Additionally, Chelsea is currently in talks to sell Christian Pulisic to Milan, with the Italian club showing increasing interest in signing the American winger. Chelsea also hopes that Al-Nassr will revive their pursuit of Hakim Ziyech.

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