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Brighton and Hove Albion CEO Paul Barber explains why Moises Caicedo joined Chelsea ahead of Liverpool

Brighton and Hove Albion Chief Executive Paul Barber has revealed that Liverpool could not have done more than they did in their attempt to sign Ecuador international midfielder Moises Caicedo.

The Reds agreed a £110 million deal – a British record – with the Seagulls last Thursday for the 21-year-old, but the player was not keen on the move and has since joined Chelsea for £115m.

Barber has told talkSPORT that Caicedo and his representatives decided that joining the Blues was better for the player, and there was nothing Liverpool could have done to get the youngster.

“Liverpool is a fantastic football club,” the Brighton CEO said.

“For any footballer to have the chance to play at Liverpool, you would imagine that they would be running up the M6, but it wasn’t to be.

“Moises and his advisors decided for whatever reason that London was their preferred destination, and ultimately Chelsea.

“Obviously that puts us in a slightly difficult position because we have negotiated a deal, we had spent many days working with Liverpool. They couldn’t have done anymore, they were superb and professional throughout.

“But then it comes down to the player. At the point that it was clear he wasn’t going to Liverpool, we have to go into a different mode – having negotiated a British record transfer, we have to do it again three days later.

“It was unusual to say the least, but we did it. We were working with Chelsea as soon as we realised Liverpool weren’t able to proceed and we had to protect our own interests; our player and his value. We have done that and Moises goes onto the next stage of his career.”

As revealed in the unveiling video, the former Brighton star has been a Chelsea fan since his teenage years, and he and his family members always dreamt of seeing him play for the Stamford Bridge club.

The Reds would have loved to sign Caicedo given his huge quality and potential, but they have been left with no other choice than to move on to other targets.

They are also keeping tabs on Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia and have agreed a £60m deal with the Championship club, but it appears the Belgium international wants to join Chelsea instead.

The Blues have signed Caicedo but are keen on Lavia too, and Liverpool might need to look elsewhere for the midfield reinforcement they are badly in need of.

Chelsea were better than them in the middle of the park during their Premier League opener of the new campaign on Sunday, and the Blues would have secured more than just a point had they been better with their finishing.

Manager Jurgen Klopp will now look to move on to other targets and Liverpool are likely to still end up with a top midfielder, but should they be worried that two of the best youngsters in the land have decided to snub them for a move to a club not playing European football this term?

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