'They blew it' – Manchester United chase for Brighton midfield star highlights major transfer flaw at Old Trafford
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United have endured another troubled transfer window as primary targets Frankie De Jong and Adrien Rabiot continue to elude them.
Erik ten Hag's men – who were beaten by Brighton on the opening day of the season – are now said to be keen on Caicedo.
The problem is, United had their opportunity 18 months ago and blew it.
Unfortunately for them they dithered during the talks, Brighton persisted and signed the Ecuador international for around £4.5m from Independiente del Valle on a four-and-a-half deal.
To rub a little extra salt in the wound, Caicedo is a self-confessed Man United fan and even stated last summer his dream move would be to Old Trafford.
The 20-year-old powerhouse could easily have been persuaded to go to Manchester.
Negotiations were complex with Independiente but an agreement was eventually reached and after a brief loan with Belgium club Beerschot, he is now impressing in the Premier League and filling the void in Albion's midfield following Yves Bissouma's £30m exit to Tottenham.
United's recent interest in Caicedo is a rather desperate attempt to add to their midfield that currently includes Fred, Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek.
United will no doubt continue to spend fortunes in a desperate attempt to fix their problems but at the moment their transfer strategy is way off.
There was never a chance Brighton would sell Caicedo this window. The club have already received more than £100m this summer from Bissouma, Marc Cucurella – and most likely Neal Maupay – and are under zero pressure to sell.
Brighton's recruitment of late has been the envy of many Premier League clubs and Caicedo will become a key man in Graham Potter's midfield this season – and very likely for a couple more seasons at least.
He's another talent – similar to Bissouma and Cucurella – that could be playing Champions League football in the next few years and earn Brighton another healthy profit...but not just yet.
Perhaps United should come back with a huge pile of money in a couple of years once/if they have their house in order.