LIVERPOOL have reportedly stolen a march on Manchester United in their quest to sign Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo in January.
The 20-year-old has been one of the standout players in the Premier League so far from the opening six matches.
He even got on the score sheet for the Seagulls on Sunday as Graham Potter’s side smashed Leicester 5-2 at the Amex Stadium.
United are long-term admirers of the Ecuador international, where they passed up the chance to sign him for just £4.5million in early 2021.
It has been claimed that negotiations became a ‘clusterf***’, leading the Red Devils to pull out of a move, with Brighton subsequently snapping him up from Independiente del Valle.
Erik ten Hag’s side again weighed up a possible swoop for the youngster last month, but Caicedo stayed put on the south coast.
Liverpool were also keen on the player in a potential £42m deal, but Brighton were holding out for over DOUBLE that fee.
And according to Tera Deportes, the Reds tried their luck with an offer late on deadline day, which Brighton knocked back.
The Ecuadorian news outlet then stated how Brighton have given Liverpool first priority to sign Caicedo after the World Cup in January.
Caicedo commented on his future after scoring against the Foxes amid specualation linking him with a move away.
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He said: “I’m very happy here at Brighton.
“I’m not thinking about any other club than Brighton.
“This is the club where I am now and I will give everything for this club and to keep doing well here.”
Speaking of Caicedo, boss Potter remarked: “It doesn’t surprise me that people are looking at him, because he is playing at a fantastic level.
“He is a top, top kid, a great person.
“But the position that the club are in is that we don’t want to lose him and we don’t think we will.
“He has all the attributes to play at the very, very highest level.”