Chelsea are preparing a new and improved offer for Moises Caicedo after the Brighton midfielder reportedly snubbed a move to Liverpool.
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Liverpool thought they were set to win the race to sign Caicedo after agreeing terms with Brighton over a British record £111m deal.
Jurgen Klopp is a known admirer of the 21-year-old and is keen to bolster his midfield options following the departure of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.
But Caicedo has reportedly made it clear to the Anfield club that he wants to join Chelsea instead, throwing the transfer up in the air.
The Ecuador international may have to backtrack and agree to move to Liverpool if Chelsea do not match the Reds’ record-breaking bid for the Brighton star.
Chelsea have made three unsuccessful offers for Caicedo worth between £60-80m, but The Times say they are preparing to raise their bid to at least match Liverpool’s.
Caicedo would become the most expensive signing in Premier League history, just six months after Chelsea paid £105m on Argentina World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez.
While Chelsea look to bring Caicedo to west London, their deal for Leeds United star Tyler Adams has fallen through.
The USA international had completed at least part of a medical in London after Chelsea activated his £20m release clause, but talks between the midfielder and the club broke down on Friday.
Asked about Chelsea’s pursuit of Caicedo at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Mauricio Pochettino said: ‘I think you know me very well – I never talk about players that do not belong to us. I am so respectful.
‘I can tell you that we are working really hard to try to add more players to the squad. Like any club, we are working hard to try to add more quality, to reinforce the squad.
‘It’s obvious [that we are looking to sign more players] because when you look at the squad and compare it with last season, too many midfielders left the squad.
‘We are working hard to try to see, but it’s important to be respectful. That is the way I love to work and the way we need to work together at the club.’
Chelsea have spent heavily over the past 12 months but only finished 12th in the Premier League last season.
Liverpool, meanwhile, failed to qualify for the Champions League for only the second time under Jurgen Klopp despite an impressive run of form towards the end of the campaign.
Brighton finished one place behind the Reds, securing a place in a European competition for the first time in the club’s history while reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
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