Moises Caicedo: Chelsea sign top midfield target from Brighton in £115 million deal

Blues in the market for more new recruits, including Southampton's Lavia

Brighton's Moises Caicedo, right, in action last season against Chelsea, the club he has now signed for. EPA
Powered by automated translation

Chelsea have beaten off competition from Liverpool to clinch the £115 million signing of Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo – and will now turn their attention to wrapping up a deal for Southampton's Romeo Lavia.

Brighton will receive £100 million up front with a further £15 million in add-ons. The transfer was officially confirmed by the clubs on Monday night.

Liverpool appeared to move ahead of Chelsea in the race to sign the Ecuador international at the weekend when they agreed a fee with the Seagulls, however the player only wanted to move to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have been chasing Caicedo all summer. The 21-year-old underwent a medical at the club's Cobham training base on Monday afternoon and signed a contract until June 2031.

"I didn't have to think twice when Chelsea called me, I just knew I wanted to sign for the club," Caicedo said.

"It's a dream come true to be here and I can't wait to get started with the team."

Chelsea will now focus on completing a deal for £50 million-rated Saints midfielder Lavia, while manager Mauricio Pochettino has said he wants a new forward to replace Christopher Nkunku, who is likely to be out for several months with a knee injury sustained in pre-season.

The signing of Caicedo will take the club's transfer spend to £906 million on 27 players across three windows since being acquired by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, and with more new recruits seemingly on the way, there's every chance that could top a billion by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, one player on his way out of Stamford Bridge is goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has agreed a season-long loan move to Real Madrid.

The 28-year-old Spain international, who joined the Blues in a £71.6 million switch from Athletic Bilbao in August 2018, has been signed to replace Thibaut Courtois, who has been ruled out with a long-term knee injury.

Elsewhere, West Ham announced the capture of England midfielder James Ward-Prowse from Southampton on Monday in a deal worth a reported £30 million. The 28-year-old set-piece specialist will help fill the gap left by Declan Rice's move to Arsenal.

The Hammers, meanwhile, are braced for another bid from Manchester City for Lucas Paqueta. City have already seen one bid turned down but are said to be readying a second offer.

Should the Brazil international leave the London Stadium this summer, manager David Moyes is understood to be eager to replace him with Ajax's Ghana international Mohammed Kudus. The 23-year-old Kudus, who shone at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, has been on the radar of a number of Premier League clubs this summer, including Brighton, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Updated: August 15, 2023, 4:14 AM