Chelsea look to be taking the lead in the race to sign Moises Caicedo, after failing to secure a move for Manuel Ugarte of Sporting CP.
Over the last few days, reports suggested Chelsea were strongly pursuing a deal to sign Manuel Ugarte of Sporting CP, but they faced strong competition from Paris Saint-Germain.
That deal then came crashing down on Sunday night, with Ben Jacobs breaking the news that Chelsea had withdrawn from the race.
Fabrizio Romano reports that Ugarte has now agreed personal terms with PSG, and club-to-club talks are ongoing to close the deal.
As a result, Chelsea are switching their focus to Arsenal-linked midfielder Moises Caicedo.
The Evening Standard report that Chelsea are now targeting Caicedo, looking to do a deal ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool.
Chelsea are optimistic about a deal, and they’ve discussed a move for him in talks with Brighton over Levi Colwill. Chelsea previously rejected a £30m bid from Brighton for Colwill.
Alex Crook of talkSPORT reports that part of the reason Brighton were so determined not to sell Caicedo in January was that they believed more clubs would be at the table this summer, and TheSecretScout claim Brighton want a £100m fee.
Given Arsenal’s focus on Declan Rice, putting together a £100m deal for Caicedo seems unlikely, and Chelsea’s new focus on the midfielder just makes things even more complicated.
When it comes to convincing the player, you’d expect Arsenal to have the upper hand.
The Gunners finished second in the league versus Chelsea’s 12th, and they have European football whilst the Blues don’t. Chelsea’s huge squad was already overstuffed, and they now have even fewer games to share between too many players.
But that’s not going to matter if Chelsea do a deal with Brighton and Arsenal don’t, as we saw with Mykhaylo Mudryk.
After Brighton’s final game of the season, manager Roberto De Zerbi suggested they could now sell Caicedo.
“Yes, I think it can be the last game for Alexis and Moises Caicedo,” De Zerbi said. “They deserve to change level of team and competition, we have to be happy for them.
“We are Brighton and our policy is to help the young players to progress, we can’t keep our best players. That is right, it is our mentality and we have to find more young players.”
Unless Arsenal’s pursuit of Rice falls apart in the coming weeks, it seems more likely Caicedo’s exit will be to Chelsea.