Chelsea were still negotiating with Brighton for Moises Caicedo into the early hours of Saturday morning, but the ongoing delay could yet work in Liverpool’s favour in a multi-layered saga that has also seen both clubs also compete for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia.
Liverpool went higher than Chelsea in Thursday’s effective auction for Caicedo, bidding £110m, which then saw the Stamford Bridge club go to £55m for Lavia.
Chelsea are trying to do both deals, but there is some skepticism whether they can make the two work under Financial Fair Play without significant sales.
This led to a late offer of players on top of a fee for Caicedo, but Brighton were not interested in any part exchange as of early Saturday morning.
The fluid nature of the situation was illustrated in how Chelsea dropped interest in Leeds United’s Tyler Adams despite the player travelling to London in what was supposed to be a £20m deal.
In another twist, Brighton are themselves interested in the US international, as well as Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus.
The latter deal has not yet taken place due to a disagreement over a release clause should the Ghanaian sign.
Such moves are being made as Brighton prepare to sell Caicedo, and manager Roberto De Zerbi has already confirmed he is now working on his team without the Ecuadorian in his plans.
That has increased Liverpool’s chances the longer Chelsea go without a deal.
While the preference from the player’s camp has been to go to Stamford Bridge, and Liverpool do not have a concrete agreement, Caicedo’s main intention is just to play for a top club.
The Anfield club have not pulled out of the deal despite reports.It forms another subplot to Sunday’s meeting between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
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