"It was finalized in the last few hours" - Moises Caicedo's agent speaks out on his British transfer record transfer to Chelsea
Chelsea star Moises Caicedo's representative Andrea Pellegatti has shed light on the Ecuadorian's British record transfer to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Caicedo made a £116 million move to the Blues from Brighton & Hove Albion, making him the most expensive signing in British football history. The 21-year-old had long been a target of the west Londoners and they beat Liverpool to his signature.
Pellagatti was asked the exact price that Chelsea paid for his client and he explained that the young midfielder only wanted to join Mauricio Pochettino's side. He told Sport Italia:
"£116 million, equivalent to €133 million. The amount paid is no accident. It was finalized in the last few hours, but the boy only wanted Chelsea, who had started to express their interest in a consistent manner since January."
The Blues failed with multiple bids worth as much as £80 million for Caicedo until finding an agreement with Brighton. The Seagulls stood firm on their £100 million valuation after seeing Declan Rice join Arsenal for a similar fee.
Liverpool entered the race for the Ecuador international and agreed a £111 million fee for the holding midfielder. However, Caicedo turned down the chance to join Jurgen Klopp's Reds and reportedly even informed him of his desire to head to Stamford Bridge through text.
Chelsea's interest does stem back to January as they and Arsenal both made approaches for the player in the winter transfer window. Caicedo took to social media and made public his desire to leave the Amex.
Yet, Brighton kept hold of the Ecuadorian for the remainder of the season and he signed a new four-year contract in March. It appeared that this was to protect his value and the Blues' interest in him didn't subside.
Caicedo has made a difficult start to his career at Stamford Bridge as Pochettino's men struggle for results. He endured a nightmare debut, giving away a penalty in a 3-1 defeat to West Ham United.
However, there's no doubt that the new Blues midfielder is one of the Premier League's most admired young talents. He impressed for Brighton last season with his energy and defensive nous on display in 43 games across competitions. He scored one goal and provided one assist, playing a key role in Roberto De Zerbi's side's UEFA Europa League qualification.
Caicedo reportedly could be back from injury when Chelsea face Aston Villa
Caicedo missed Chelsea's drab 0-0 draw against Bournemouth last Sunday (September 17). He was nursing a slight knee injury after representing Ecuador on international duty the week prior.
However, he is reportedly optimistic about returning to face Aston Villa this Sunday (September 24). Pochettino will be eager for the club's record signing to do so given the injury crisis his side have been enduring.
The Argentine coach was without 12 players in the draw against Bournemouth. The Blues have started the season poorly with just one win, two draws, and two defeats from five league games.