By Our Correspondent
Liverpool have agreed an £111million deal with Brighton for midfielder Moises Caicedo, talkSPORT understands.
It sees the Reds beat Premier League rivals Chelsea in the race to sign the 21-year-old Ecuador international, who could undergo a medical as early as Friday.
The final fee will surpass the previous British record of £105m which Arsenal paid West Ham for Declan Rice’s signature earlier this summer.
It will also smash Liverpool‘s record transfer when they signed Virgil van Dijk’s from Southampton for £75m in January 2018, although their purchase of Darwin Nunez could rise to £85m.
Caicedo appeared set to join Chelsea, who made the first serious earlier in the summer.
The Blues had made two bids for Caicedo, however, both fell short of Brighton’s £100m valuation for the player, who has only played 45 Premier League games.
It has allowed Liverpool to strike and at the first attempt they’ve gone beyond the Seagulls’ asking price and look set to get the deal done.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were always in need of a rebuild in midfield having allowed James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave upon the expiration of their contracts.
They started the transfer window positively by signing World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister, who played alongside Caicedo at Brighton, as well as Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig.
But their midfield shortages reached near-emergency levels when club captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho both left Anfield for lucrative moves to Saudi Arabia.
Caicedo joined Brighton from Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle in the winter transfer window in 2021 for £4.5m. He had been scouted by Manchester United.
As for Chelsea, their attention may now turn to Southampton star Romeo Lavia, who appeared set to join Liverpool.
The Reds, who will compete in the Europa League this season, have been unwilling to meet Saints’ £50m asking price for the 19-year-old and Chelsea have seen an opportunity to swoop in.
However, Chelsea’s latest offer of £48m is expected to be rejected by the Championship club.
Chelsea play Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in their first game of the season on Sunday, while Brighton welcome Luton Town.