Manchester United are said to have decided against an approach for Ecuador midfielder Moises Caicedo, clearing the way for Brighton to move in on the highly rated teenager.
Interest in Caicedo first emerged just before Christmas when reports from South America led on United‘s interest in the 19-year-old. He was framed as someone who could develop to become a long-term replacement for Paul Pogba, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s recruitment team tipped to offer £4.5m to Independiente del Valle for his services.
As is often the case with United transfer stories, however, an avalanche of reports followed. It soon came to light that Man City, Chelsea, Everton and Brighton were all vying for his signature, although much of that died down pretty quickly.
United are stepping up their youth recruitment at present, having landed Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo already this season, and it was initially believed they wanted to add Caicedo to their burgeoning cast of talented youngsters. However, Sky Sports suggest they have gone cold on him, allowing Brighton to move into pole position.
It’s said that United ‘decided against’ formalising their interest in the youngster, who last year became Ecuador’s youngest ever scorer in just his second appearance for his country.
Brighton remain firmly interested, however, and having already signed striker Billy Arce from the Ecuadorian club in August 2018, it seems they are keen to utilise their existing relationship to make another deal happen.
No more is said on interest from other clubs who may be in the running.
Primarily a box-to-box midfielder, Caicedo has caught the eye with his athleticism, but what sets him apart is his technical ability. He has en eye for a finish, having scored six times in his 31 senior appearances so far, and his intelligent passing holds things together for his team.
It’s easy to see where the Pogba comparisons come from, but his play is more akin to that of great goalscoring midfielders like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
For more on what to expect if and when he arrives in the Premier League, read 90min‘s profile.