Before their season-opening matchup at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea and Liverpool have been competing in the transfer market for the services of Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
Both teams regard the 21-year-old Ecuadorian as crucial to their aspirations of reviving their fortunes following poor seasons, making him the most expensive player in English football history.
Although a contract of £110 million ($140 million, 127 million euros) has been agreed upon between Liverpool and Brighton, the player is widely considered to want a move to Chelsea.
Despite spending more than £500 million on new players in the first year under their new ownership, the Blues fell to 12th place in the Premier League last season, their lowest finish since 1994.
After a summer purge left new manager Mauricio Pochettino short on midfield alternatives, Chelsea is eager to throw more money at their problems.
After months of discussions, Liverpool finally appeared to have beaten Brighton to the punch when their bid was the biggest before the club’s Thursday deadline.
The Reds need new midfielders after losing Jordan Henderson (captain), Fabinho (midfielder), James Milner (midfielder), Naby Keita (midfielder), and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (midfielder).
As a result of their fifth-place Premier League performance, Jurgen Klopp’s squad did not qualify for the Champions League for the first time in seven years.
Fans and even the club’s new captain Virgil van Dijk have grown disgruntled with the dearth of fresh recruits at Anfield, despite the acquisition of another of Brighton’s talents in Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig.
“Of course, when a large number of players are leaving, when your captain and vice captain are going, and when right now there are just two incomings…Some people’s skepticism is understandable,” Van Dijk admitted.
A ‘desperate’ Liverpool –
Liverpool’s late swoop for Caicedo was labeled “desperate” by former defender Jamie Carragher after the club opted out of bidding for Jude Bellingham prior to his 100 million euro move from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid earlier this year and refused to meet Southampton’s £50 million asking price for Romeo Lavia.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, however, said that the club was compelled to sell Fabinho and Jordan Henderson after they unexpectedly left for Saudi Arabia.
“We are not a club with endless resources,” Klopp remarked. “During the summer, a couple of unexpected things occurred.”
In addition, Klopp had to retract his earlier comments in which he criticized clubs for spending more over £100 million on a single player.
Things shifted drastically. Is it to my taste? No. Did I finally realize my error? The German trainer confirmed that.
I don’t want to place blame, but the market is just how it is. In the end, it’s up to the club to use its resources to get the greatest player it can afford.
However, the team that does not sign Caicedo runs the risk of falling behind not only the defending champions Manchester City, but also Arsenal and Manchester United, who have completed the bulk of their offseason transfer activity.
The midfields for Chelsea and Liverpool, on the other hand, will be severely depleted when the seasons begin this Sunday.
After making club history by reaching Europe for the first time last season, Brighton now has the daunting task of rebuilding.
“I’ve already forgotten Moises,” Seagulls manager Roberto De Zerbi stated last Friday.