LIVERPOOL AND CHELSEA MOISÉS CAICEDO BATTLE VIDICATED ERIK TEN HAG TRANSFER DECISION | soccer4u
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LIVERPOOL AND CHELSEA MOISÉS CAICEDO BATTLE VIDICATED ERIK TEN HAG TRANSFER DECISION

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The pair fought for Moises Caicedo but Man United’s swift market action saw them reap the rewards

It seems like the first two weeks of August is always a time of summer transfer chaos, and this year was no different.

The 2023/2024 Premier League season kicked off last night at Turf Moor and the league’s big spenders seem to have woken up and noticed the major shortcomings in their squad. Liverpool and Chelsea have talked about strengthening their midfield throughout the summer and although some have signed contracts, neither of them have appeared.

Chelsea take on Liverpool in their league opener on Sunday, but the two have been at war in the transfer market. Brighton held an auction for their midfielder Moises Caicedo on Thursday night, with Jurgen Klopp’s side offering a winning bid of £111m. Want to join our MUFC Pro club for a completely ad-free version of the MEN’s Man United app with premium features? Click here

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Chelsea have been negotiating with Brighton for several weeks and will eventually deliver the required amount, but the arrival of Liverpool with a huge offer has left officials at Stamford Bridge bewildered. They have activated Tyler Adams’ £20m release clause and have targeted Romeo Lavia – who, oddly enough, has already received three offers at Liverpool.

But Caicedo had other ideas, when he told the Merseyside team about his intention to join Mauricio Pochettino in London. Chelsea are preparing another bid for their first choice, rejecting the Adams deal while Liverpool return to Southampton and Lavia. If this all sounds like chaos, that’s because it is. Liverpool and Chelsea let him be late in signing their main midfield and are now suffering the consequences, struggling and overpaying as a result.

Manchester United have shown interest in both Caicedo and Lavia at various times this summer but have decided to act decisively and land Mason Mount early. He was the first player through the door and was available throughout pre-season.

Erik ten Hag identified Mount as a viable option before the window opened and prioritized his appearance ahead of a keeper and a number 9. Negotiations dragged on a bit longer than expected, but ended in early July, before the big competitors could enter the race.

It could be argued that United overpaid for Mount, given he has 12 months left on his contract, but the £50m paid initially is still reasonable and the peace of mind can be priceless. Ten Hag could have stretched things out and picked either Caicedo or Lavia later this summer, but in doing so he risks facing Premier League opponents with more financial flexibility.

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United simply cannot afford to spend £111m on Caicedo, while £50m on Lavia comes with a lot of risks. They will also hardly have the opportunity to get Jude Bellingham or Declan Rice – two other central defenders are also interested.

Mount is not in the field of signing in midfield, but he is a smart addition and can be made quickly. Ten Hag was assertive in identifying his men and John Murtough also in securing a deal.

Both need to see the chaos unfolding with Liverpool and Chelsea and feel vindicated for their decision.

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