Chelsea’s rebuild of their midfield will see them combine their move for Sporting Lisbon’s Manuel Ugarte with an attempt to buy Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moisés Caicedo.
Strengthening the midfield is a key focus for Mauricio Pochettino after his appointment as head coach. Chelsea are rivalling Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool for Ugarte, whose contract contains a £52m release clause, and their interest in Caicedo dates back to January.
Arsenal and Liverpool have also tracked Caicedo, who is expected to leave Brighton. The Ecuador international has impressed since joining two years ago and has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League this season. Arsenal attempted to sign him in January.
Brighton value Caicedo highly and are renowned for being tough negotiators. It could take at least £80m for them to consider selling the 21-year-old. Brighton also anticipate selling Alexis Mac Allister, with Liverpool leading the race for the Argentina midfielder.
Chelsea are set for a heavy clearout and need to sell after spending close to £600m in the past two windows. They are looking for a goalkeeper, a striker and more depth alongside Enzo Fernández in midfield. They sold Jorginho to Arsenal in January and are likely to sell Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic to Manchester United and Manchester City respectively. N’Golo Kanté, whose contract is up, is yet to extend his deal. Milan want Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
It remains to be seen whether Brighton renew attempts to sign Levi Colwill from Chelsea. Colwill has just finished a season’s loan at Brighton, who had a £30m bid for the defender rejected this week. Chelsea do not want to sell the 20-year-old. Chelsea could offer Brighton the chance to sign Colwill on loan as part of a deal for Caicedo
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