CHELSEA are close to agreeing a £55million deal for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia and could still beat Liverpool to Moises Caicedo.
Liverpool have agreed a £111m deal with Brighton to sign Caicedo and have seen three bids rejected for Lavia – but could miss out on both players.
Chelsea swooped with a surprise £48m bid for the 19-year-old Belgian earlier this week, with talks between the Blues and Saints continuing.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are now close to agreeing a deal for the former Manchester City academy man – who they also bid for last summer.
They are also still pursuing a deal for Brighton midfielder Caicedo, despite Liverpool agreeing a deal with the Seagulls.
Caicedo was expected to travel to Merseyside for his medical on Friday morning, but informed the Reds that he wants to join Chelsea – meaning he only got as far as London and is now waiting for the Blues to lodge a formal bid.
Chelsea are prepared to raise their offer to match or even beat Liverpool’s and a source close to the Lavia deal believes that the London club want to sign both players.
That would mean an outlay of over £165m on the two midfielders.
While Caicedo is playing the waiting game – his current employers have already moved on.
Brighton boss De Zerbi said: “I have already forgotten about Moises.
“I’m really proud of the players we have in the squad. We want to keep improving. The credit goes to the club. Bigger clubs can buy our players but they can’t buy our soul or spirit.
“We don’t have enough [players] yet, we need to complete the squad. I want players who want to come here.
“We are Brighton, we achieved a big target last year – the same as Liverpool, better than Chelsea. I would like players who are proud to play in Brighton.”
Chelsea had also triggered Tyler Adams’ £20million release clause in his Leeds contract but the move has collapsed.
Talks broke down as the two parties could not reach an agreement on personal terms, with the midfielder now expected to return to Elland Road.
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