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Moises Caicedo snub a big blow for Liverpool... club structure is a problem, says Jamie Carragher

Liverpool reached an agreement with Brighton & Hove Albion over the transfer of midfielder Moises Caicedo on Friday, but player has his heart set on joining Chelsea; Jamie Carragher feels the saga reflects the state of the structure at his former club

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Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher discuss the tug-of-war between Chelsea and Liverpool over Moises Caicedo after the Brighton midfielder said he wants to join Chelsea

Jamie Carragher believes Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo should have been earmarked as Liverpool's priority defensive midfield reinforcement this summer, and says the club's current structure is becoming a problem.

The Merseyside club agreed a British record transfer fee of £111m with Brighton for Caicedo on Friday, but the Reds face a battle to land the Ecuadorian as the player wants to join Chelsea.

Signing a defensive midfielder to replace the departed Fabinho and Jordan Henderson has proven a frustrating pursuit for Liverpool the past fortnight, with Carragher labelling the club's approach to sign Romeo Lavia as "embarrassing" after refusing to meet Southampton's £50m valuation.

Now it would appear that Jurgen Klopp is set to miss out on Caicedo having made a late dash to join the race.

Carragher told Sky Sports: "When you think of Liverpool needing a midfielder - or anyone really in the Premier League - Moises Caicedo is one of the names that would jump out at you straight away.

"To be fair to Chelsea, they've been in the running for two or three months. If he wants to go to Chelsea, and he's given them his word and he's spoken already to the manager, doesn't want to break that promise, then you could say 'fair enough'.

"Liverpool have come in at a late stage as they didn't want to pay a certain price for Romeo Lavia. The price for Caicedo is big, but Liverpool are probably more desperate than Chelsea.

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"When you think of the figures now for a holding midfield player, we questioned the price of Enzo Fernandez in the January transfer window. He cost £100m and then Declan Rice went to Arsenal for £105m, and Caicedo has been valued at £111m.

"I'm desperate for him to come to Liverpool as the need for him there is probably greater. It's going to be a big blow."

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Vinny O'Connor gives greater insight into what could happen next for Moises Caicedo with his future in the air

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is resigned to losing Caicedo. Chelsea are not yet out of the running and will be mulling over whether to make a fresh bid as it is understood the 21-year-old Ecuador international would prefer a switch to Stamford Bridge.

Klopp wants to reinforce his options in the middle of the park with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner also recently leaving the club.

They signed Caicedo's ex-Brighton team-mate Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig but missed out on Jude Bellingham, who joined Real Madrid in June in a deal that could rise to £115m.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirms the club have agreed a deal to sign Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo

Klopp, whose side missed out on Champions League qualification after finishing fifth last season, was tight-lipped when speaking at his press conference on Friday as to whether Liverpool would strengthen further - but Carragher says the lack of a permanent director of football has undermined their hopes of concluding all their transfer business so far this summer.

"Liverpool's ownership were willing to sanction the British transfer record in terms of bringing Caicedo in, but to make such a bid without knowing if the player wants to come is not something that's done," Carragher added.

"Caicedo should always have been Liverpool's first option, and if you couldn't get him then fair enough, you move to Lavia as your second option.

"It feels like it's almost the wrong way around and they may have to now go back to Southampton and pay the £50m they want for the player.

Image: Liverpool are yet to meet Romeo Lavia's valuation

"We shouldn't forget that Caicedo is a young lad who is getting pushed from pillar to post. He's getting a lot of advice off different people, so whatever he decides should be respected.

"Liverpool have obviously got the money if they want for Lavia, but it's whether they feel he is worth £50m. Liverpool's ownership has always been about whether they feel they are getting value for money.

"If they feel they need to go really big, like they've done in the past with Vigil van Dijk or Alisson, then they will. If they feel someone is really worth it then they'll do it.

"Money has never been the problem at Liverpool, they just want the right player at the right time. The biggest problem for Liverpool right now in getting business done is not the ownership, it's the structure of the club.

"It's changed so much in the past 12 to 18 months, and right now Liverpool don't have a permanent director of football. [Jorg Schmadtke] is there on a temporary basis as they look to fill that position and that's not ideal."

Redknapp: I'm shocked Caicedo has turned Liverpool down, he would have been perfect

Former Liverpool captain and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp on the Essential Football Podcast:

"I'm obviously hugely biased in this one - but this is astonishing for me!

"Normally Liverpool would always, always win this one hands down. I just thought it was inevitable. I woke up as a Liverpool fan, very happy with that one. But then to hear the news that he's turned Liverpool down… I'll believe it when I see him in a Chelsea shirt.

"I thought he would look great in that red kit. I thought he would be the perfect signing for Liverpool.

"I get the attraction of Chelsea. It's a huge club. They've won so many things over the years. But I think in terms of the history of the clubs, I'm amazed, especially with Caicedo joining up with Alexis Mac Allister, I thought it would be a perfect move.

"It certainly makes it interesting for Southampton because they'll be going, 'OK, you want Romeo Lavia, you're going to have to pay top dollar for him now. And they go cap in hand, on the phone to them saying, 'You were always our first choice and that's been proven that he wasn't'. But that's football sometimes and I'm sure that they'll have to go back in, in that respect."

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