Moises Caicedo: Brighton's deal for Educador international moves a step closer

According to the Ecuadorian side's General Manager Santiago Morales, a work permit has already been arranged along with a 20 per cent sell-on clause included in the deal; forward has been scouted by many in the Premier League including Manchester United

Ecuador's Moises Caicedo celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a qualifying soccer match against Uruguay for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Casa Blanca stadium in Quito, Ecuador, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (Jose Jacome/Pool via AP)
Image: Moises Caicedo is set to cost Brighton £4.5m from Ecuadorian side Independiente Del Valle

Brighton target Moises Caicedo is expected to fly into England on Friday to finalise a £4.5m move from Independiente Del Valle.

According to the Ecuadorian side's General Manager Santiago Morales, a work permit has already been arranged along with a 20 per cent sell-on clause included in the deal.

Elite sportsmen and women are exempt from the current travel ban from South America and with South American markets opening up to British clubs following Brexit, Caicedo had been scouted by many in the Premier League including Manchester United.

At just 19 years old, Caicedo already has four caps for Ecuador and played the majority of minutes for his club in the Copa Libertadores and Ecuadorian top flight in 2020.

There have also been discussions over him joining Belgian club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, who are also owned by Brighton owner Tony Bloom, on loan for the rest of the season.

Ahead of Brighton's FA Cup fourth-round tie with League One Blackpool, boss Graham Potter remained tight-lipped on the transfer rumours.

"There's always speculation, a bit of noise around things, but until anyone is a Brighton player, I can't really elaborate on anything," he said.

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Moises Caicedo (left) 0:46
Moises Caicedo joining Brighton would be Manchester United's loss, according to South American football expert Tim Vickery

'United's loss is Brighton's gain'

South American football expert Tim Vickery believes Manchester United will rue not following through with their interest for Caicedo.

In October, Caicedo became the first player born in the 21st century to ever score in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying with a goal in Ecuador's 4-2 win over Uruguay.

Vickery said: "This time last week I was telling you it was going to be Man United based on what sources in Ecuador were saying. So you'll forgive me if I refer to my default position of making a prediction after the event because they tend to be more accurate.

"But if it is Brighton, Manchester United's loss is Brighton's gain.

"They (Brighton) will be getting an absolutely terrific player. Independiente de Valle [are] a little club who exists in order to develop players to sell them. They bring in top-class Spanish youth coaches to develop their players.

"In 2020, you saw the good formation that Moises Caicedo had. Stepped into the first team... breeze. Stepped into international football with Ecuador... breeze. He was up against Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia and makes it look easy.

"Box-to-box midfielder, terrific athlete, cool in possession. He is not a wizard, he is not a glamourous player but has so much to offer.

"If I had enough money I would buy him myself and put him on my mantlepiece."

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