Midfielder Moises Caicedo is set to snub an offer from Liverpool, clearing the way for him to complete a move to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
The Blues have been chasing the Ecuador international all summer but have so far been frustrated, with Brighton standing firm on their valuation of the 21-year-old.
But on Friday morning, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp announced at his press conference – ahead of Sunday's Premier League opener at Chelsea – that the Reds had agreed a fee with Brighton thought to be in the region of £110 million.
“I can confirm the deal with [Brighton] is agreed,” said Klopp. “Whatever that means because we want the player and not any kind of agreement, we will see.”
However, Caicedo is widely reported to have spurned Liverpool's advances, insisting he only wants to move to Stamford Bridge, with it now being up to Chelsea to thrash out a deal with Brighton.
Earlier in the day, Seagulls coach Roberto De Zerbi confirmed Caicedo would be leaving the Amex Stadium.
“I would like to answer only one time [on Caicedo],” said the Italian. “I’ve already forgotten Moises. Moises is leaving and is not important for me now.”
Brighton are set to make an enormous profit on the Ecuadorian midfielder who joined them for just £4 million from Independiente del Valle in 2021. The reported asking price would top the previous British record of £107 million that Chelsea paid for Enzo Fernandez in January.
Premier League 2023/24 kits rated
Meanwhile, Blues manager Mauricio Pochettino refused to talk directly about Caicedo but admitted strengthening in midfield was a priority.
When pressed on what he still needs in his squad, Pochettino said: “Many midfielders have left the squad and we have different options. We are working really hard but always being really respectful with the names that are there, the clubs and the players.”
Chelsea will welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on Sunday without Christopher Nkunku after the French forward needed surgery to fix a knee injury sustained on a bad pitch in the club’s final pre-season match in Chicago.
And Pochettino admitted the club are looking for a replacement for the £52 million summer signing from RB Leipzig, who is expected to be out for around four months.
He said: “We feel very sorry about him. He was doing well, he was very important for us. I think the quality is there, one of the best offensive players that can play in different positions that always is a big issue for us.
“Now it’s about not to think too much about the injuries and to be positive about when he can be again with us and recover as soon as possible in a good way.
“We are working in the market also, we are going to miss one player like this. The club is working, trying to find a solution, maybe short term, medium and long term to add the right profile for the team to perform for now.”