While various teams have been linked with a deal for Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo, Manchester United does not appear to be in the running this month. The Reds have been mentioned as a possible destination for the player in the past year or two, but nothing has come of it.
Brighton turned down a £60 million approach from Arsenal for the 21-year-old on Friday. Caicedo, who has made 26 Premier League games and scored twice, is under contract until 2025. The Seagulls have reiterated that the player is not for sale, but have apparently instructed him to wait until the transfer market shuts before returning for the second half of the season.
The young midfielder took to social media on the same day his club rejected an offer for him, expressing his intention to leave the Seagulls this month. It has swiftly devolved into a tangled scenario that is unlikely to be resolved until after Tuesday’s deadline.
Arsenal is anxious to bolster their team as they seek their first Premier League title since 2004. Caicedo is reported to be interested in a move to the Emirates, but he only recently admitted that his “dream” is to play for Manchester United.
He expressed his ambition to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Antonio Valencia, who spent several years at Old Trafford and had a solid period after being signed by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.
“My ultimate goal is to play for Manchester United. Antonio Valencia is a good role model. He was able to reach that level due to his power and determination. That inspires me to continue working hard and doing the right things “Caicedo previously told The Athletic.
The Reds are unlikely to make a late move for the midfielder in the final few days of the transfer window this month. The club spent much on Casemiro in the summer, while Christian Eriksen, who was obtained on a free transfer, has performed admirably since his arrival at Old Trafford.
United pursued Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona for months, but his choice to remain in Spain led to the Reds signing their Brazilian enforcer, who has been magnificent all season. Both midfielders, along with Bruno Fernandes, have performed admirably under Erik ten Hag, and if the club is able to end its trophy drought this season, they will have played a significant role.
However, Casemiro and Eriksen will both turn 31 next month, and while their games do not rely on pace or the ability to move up and down the pitch, they are unlikely to be wearing a red shirt in the next five or six years.
With Wout Weghorst only on loan until the end of the season, it is evident that United needs to bolster the striker position. Both Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen have been linked with a move to Old Trafford, but even if none of those players joins the Reds, the club is still expected to make a signing.
That, obviously, must be the focal point. However, the signing of another midfielder is critical, whether it comes as a surprise before the end of the current transfer window or, more likely, in the summer.
Caicedo has already stated his desire to wear the fabled red shirt, and although having played less than 30 times in the Premier League, the 21-year-old – who has two goals and two assists – has shown that he is more than capable of prospering at this level.
United was working on a contract to sign Ecuador international in January 2021, but talks were hampered by the involvement of numerous intermediaries. According to the Manchester Evening News, the deal became ‘too complex’ for the Reds. It is apparent, then, that interest has existed in the past and is unlikely to vanish – especially given how well the midfielder has done this season.
There’s a reason he’s so sought after, and United should make use of their advantage over Arsenal and other suitors now or in the summer.