Manchester United are interested in signing Brighton defensive midfielder Moises Caicedo – but a deal for Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot is now increasingly unlikely.
The club have not been able to meet Rabiot’s wage demands after a broad agreement had been reached with Juventus on a £15m fee.
With a little over two weeks to go in the transfer window, United are looking at other midfield options – and Caicedo is in their sights.
Brighton have no intention of selling but United are expected to make an offer. The 20-year-old Ecuador international impressed in Brighton’s 2-1 opening-weekend win at Old Trafford as Graham Potter’s side handed new United boss Erik ten Hag defeat in his first game in charge.
Real Madrid’s Casemiro is another name that has been discussed.
Caicedo only made his Premier League debut for Brighton at Arsenal in April, but has become a first-team regular for Potter having started their last 10 league games and has made 12 appearances in all competitions for the club.
United are long-term admirers of Caicedo – they were looking at signing him when he joined Brighton from Ecuadorian club Independiente del Valle in February 2021.
However, Brighton’s transfer policy is that they will only sell at the right time for the right price.
United will have internal discussions about whether to make their interest formal with an official bid.
Caicedo, whose deal at Brighton lasts until the summer of 2025, also scored his first Premier League goal against United in the stunning 4-0 win at the Amex Stadium in May.
After making his Seagulls debut in the League Cup win at Cardiff in August 2021, Caicedo spent the first half of last season on loan at Belgian side Beerschot before being recalled in January.
Caicedo is also likely to be a key player for Ecuador at the World Cup in Qatar, having won 23 caps and scored two goals for his country.
In October last year, he became the first player born in the 21st century to score in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying, with a goal in Ecuador’s 4-2 win over Uruguay.
Brighton have already sold two key players to Premier League sides this summer after the departures of Marc Cucurella to Chelsea in a £60m deal and midfielder Yves Bissouma to Tottenham for £35m.
Caicedo interest comes amid dwindling optimism over De Jong deal
Manchester United’s interest in Caicedo comes following dwindling optimism in signing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
United have not given up hope of signing De Jong as they feel Barca want to do a deal and have a broad agreement worth £72m.
United also believe the Netherlands international wants to come but they know the potential move has dragged on for far longer than they wanted or anticipated.
Sky Sports News has been told “the door has not been closed” on a deal to sign De Jong – but “confidence is not high” a transfer can happen.
United have been looking at other options throughout the summer given the problematic nature of the De Jong deal. Alternative options may need to be triggered soon as there are only 16 days left in the window.
Meanwhile, United are also in the market to sign a goalkeeper after Dean Henderson left on loan to Nottingham Forest.
United want a pool of three ‘keepers who are all capable of playing in the first team – David de Gea is currently number one choice with Tom Heaton number two.
United interested in signing a forward this summer
United also remain in the market for a forward player, with PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo a player of interest.
But United are respectful of PSV’s involvement in the Champions League qualifiers and are likely to pursue the 23-year-old in the final week of the window.
Stuttgart’s Sasa Kalajdzic is a player United are looking at too, with the Austrian potentially reasonably priced as he has entered the final year of his contract and wants to come to United.
United have been offered the chance to sign Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata with the former Chelsea striker of interest to Ten Hag’s side.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is another forward that came up for United during talks with Barcelona but, as it stands, their interest has not gone any further with Chelsea pushing to sign him.
Ronaldo may get Man Utd exit wish | Chelsea, Atleti senior figures unconvinced
Cristiano Ronaldo may be allowed to leave United this month if Ten Hag decides his departure would be better for the club going forward.
United’s position has not changed and Ronaldo is not for sale. He still has a year left on his contract and United have the option of extending it by another 12 months.
Sky Sports News reported on Monday that Atletico Madrid and Chelsea were still two possible destinations for Ronaldo if United change their stance and let him leave.
However, there are senior figures at both clubs who are not convinced they should sign Ronaldo.
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes at 11pm on September 1?
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.