Liverpool have unexpected Moises Caicedo negotiator as Schmadtke takes backseat

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Liverpool have not been using sporting director Jorg Schmadtke to spearhead negotiations for Moises Caicedo, according to reports. The Reds have agreed a fee with Brighton for the Ecuadorian, but Chelsea are still firmly in the mix amid claims that Stamford Bridge is his preferred destination.

A long-running transfer saga went into overdrive earlier this week when it emerged that Liverpool’s British record £110million bid had been accepted by the Seagulls. Chelsea had previously led the way in the hunt for Caicedo all summer.

The 21-year-old reportedly gave his word to Chelsea back in June, and Liverpool were dealt a bitter blow when it emerged that the Blues remain Caicedo’s preferred destination and they were planning to up their bid.

With the possibility of more twists and turns up ahead, light has been shed on the Liverpool side of negotiations as BBC Sport claim that CEO Billy Hogan is the man in charge of negotiations.

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That much will come as a surprise to many Reds fans, given that Schmadtke was appointed transfer chief to assist Klopp earlier this summer. Hogan has seemingly stepped up to take charge due to the magnitude of the deal, which is set to eclipse the £105m Arsenal paid for Declan Rice regardless of whether Caicedo heads to Merseyside or south-west London.

Klopp was quoted back in 2016 as saying he would walk away from football if deals regularly reached nine figures. When quizzed on the comments during his press conference on Friday, the German said: “Everything changed. Do I like it? No. Did I realise I was wrong? Yes. That’s the way it goes.

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“Saudi Arabia will not help with that. In the end, we have to try and make sure we get the best possible team together. 50 per cent will like it and 50 per cent won’t. We are trying to bring together the best squad for us. We cannot just point on players and bring them in, there is a lot of work to do. Sometimes one door closes and another opens up. If people want to throw my quotes from five years ago, no problem. I realise I was wrong.”

With Caicedo’s future still hanging in the balance, Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi issued a scathing comment during his own press conference as the player who starred on the south coast last campaign closes in on a move elsewhere.

“I’ve already forgotten Moises,” stated the Italian. “I am really proud for the players we have in the squad. We want to keep improving. The credit goes to the club. Bigger clubs can buy players but they can’t buy our soul and our spirit.

“We don’t have enough yet, we need to complete the squad. I want players who want to come here. We are Brighton, we achieved a big target last year – the same as Liverpool, better than Chelsea. I would like players who are proud to play for Brighton.”

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