Caicedo signing leads to chaotic showdown
On the 10th of August, two days before the 2023-24 season kicked off, Brighton expressed their intention to finalize the sale of midfielder, Moises Caicedo. He was on the verge of signing with Chelsea after three months of negotiations.
At the same time, Chelsea also put forth a bid for Romeo Lavia, the 19-year-old from Southampton. Lavia had been the primary target for Liverpool during the transfer window, but Chelsea outbid them with an offer of 48 million pounds. Unfortunately, the Saints turned down the offer.
Most fans likely anticipated that the two clubs would be competing for Lavia. However, the dynamics swiftly changed the next day when the Reds began pursuing Caicedo.
Initially intended to be finalized within a span of two days, here’s how the deal extended until the conclusion of the Chelsea vs. Liverpool clash on Sunday.
Chelsea hoped to present Moises on Opening Day
With Chelsea enjoying a clear upper hand before the Reds could even make contact with Caicedo, the Blues were aggressively pushing to finalize the deal. Their goal was to unveil their new signing on Opening Weekend, which coincidentally featured Liverpool paying a visit to Stamford Bridge.
Once the Reds got involved, Brighton stated that the highest bid would secure the player. The Blues remained confident, as they believed they had persuaded Caicedo with their plans.
However, near midnight on Thursday, reports surfaced that Caicedo was open to joining the Merseyside club. Additionally, it was mentioned that the Reds were prepared to pay a record fee to ensure the success of this signing.
It was reported that Caicedo’s camp was taken aback by Liverpool’s determination to secure the player. Jurgen Klopp’s influence was also cited as a key factor in persuading the midfielder.
Liverpool’s official bid was processed in the early hours of Aug. 11, which was purportedly the deadline for finalizing the decision. The bid was said to be valued at £110 million, as stated by Fabrizio Romano.
At this point, the Blues’ sole option to alter the situation was to outbid Liverpool, or refocus their efforts on Lavia once again.
Liverpool hoped to avoid surprises and close the deal
Shortly after putting forth the £110 million bid, both clubs began the process of preparing the necessary paperwork for the player at 2:30 am (UK time). Their goal was to finalize the signing and conduct the medical assessments in the early hours of Friday, especially since Liverpool aimed to steer clear of any unexpected surprises.
While Chelsea hadn’t taken any official steps, Fabrizio stated on Instagram Live that the Blues would be making a strong final push to deny Liverpool.
Four hours after Liverpool’s official bid, there was a belief that Jurgen Klopp intended to have a conversation with Caicedo prior to a scheduled press conference at 10 am UK time. Even though Klopp was unable to speak with the player, he mentioned during the presser that he had been informed and could confirm that the Caicedo deal had been agreed upon with the Reds.
Additional reports from other sources suggested that Chelsea was prepared to enhance their offer, and a note from Secret Scout hinted that Tyler Adams, the new signing, might be included in their bid.
Ten hours following Liverpool’s official bid, reports indicated that medical examinations had been scheduled with Liverpool. However, Chelsea remained resolute in their stance not to withdraw until the contracts were officially signed.
Jacob Steinberg confirmed that the player was still in London with his agent, while the Blues have reportedly agreed to offer higher wages.
Chelsea attempt to fight back
According to Fabrizio, Caicedo indicated a strong inclination towards Chelsea as his potential destination. The Blues were preparing to launch their offer for the player, with their action taking place 11 hours subsequent to Liverpool’s official bid.
At this juncture, as per Sky Sports, Liverpool stated that they have not arranged a medical for Caicedo, in contrast to the earlier reports.
Subsequently, at 1 pm UK time, Pochettino was set to attend his press conference, during which he was expected to be questioned about the potential arrival of the player. However, the manager chose to withhold substantial information on the matter.
"“I never talk about players that don’t belong to us. I am respectful” – Pochettino"
Following that, Fabrizio verified that Caicedo had informed Liverpool of his wish to join Chelsea. His representatives were by then in a state of anticipation, looking for Chelsea to outbid with a sum exceeding 111 million pounds, surpassing Liverpool’s offer of 110 million pounds.
Tyler Adams deal collapses
At 3 pm on Friday, Sky Sports journalist, Dharmesh Sheth, reported that the Tyler Adams deal, which had appeared to be on the brink of completion and even received Fabrizio’s ‘Here We Go’, had fallen through due to the “parties failing to reach an agreement,” despite Chelsea triggering the 20 million-pound clause.
It was later reported that his deal had fallen through due to his current injury, which would keep him out for another month. This situation led the club to reallocate the funds intended for his transfer towards the additional fees for Caicedo and possibly Lavia.
Boehly and Eghbali take over negotiations
In the “final stages” of the talks, Chelsea owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali took over the negotiations, replacing Paul Winstanley who had been in charge for three months.
The club also seemingly halted all other businesses to focus on the Caicedo deal as Brighton pushed for the case to be closed before the season opener. Chelsea decided to go “all in” which also means all future transfers would have to be paired with sales. Trevoh Chalobah and Kepa Arrizabalaga are the two players named to help the Blues raise funds.
‘Here We Go’: Caicedo to Chelsea
The deal was expected to be finalized on Saturday, yet there were no reports of Chelsea submitting their bid until Sunday. Agreement was eventually reached shortly after the clash between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge (a 1-1 draw). During the game, Klopp and Pochettino were queried about the player’s situation, but both opted to remain silent to prevent any further incorrect speculations.
Regarding the agreement with Caicedo, he has committed to a contract until 2031, with the possibility of extending it to 2032 for a fee of 115 million pounds, inclusive of add-ons. Additionally, there’s a sell-on clause in favor of Brighton.
Caicedo also completed his medicals on Monday, Aug. 14. It is possible that the Blues officially present him at the London Stadium for Chelsea’s second game of the season, where they will face West Ham United.
With just under three weeks remaining in the transfer window, Chelsea is also aiming to finalize agreements with midfielder Romeo Lavia from Southampton, who is also being pursued by Liverpool, and Michael Olise from Crystal Palace.