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Liverpool Call Chelsea’s Lavia Bluff, Refuse to Walk from Caicedo Deal

It appears Chelsea’s £55M bid for Roméo Lavia is a bluff. Or at least Liverpool think that it is.

Ecuador v Senegal: Group A - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Two days ago, nobody could have predicted the transfer madness Liverpool were set to embark upon when the Reds took a month of frustrations from their attempt to sign Roméo Lavia and instead decided to submit a British-record £110M bid for Moises Caicedo.

There was just one problem. Despite having been encouraged to do so by the player’s representatives, it turns out Caicedo or his agent was set on Chelsea, and so when their bid was accepted by Brighton the player then began dragging his heels and hoping the London Blues would match the Reds’ big-money bid.

Much of Friday has subsequently been spent waiting for a bid that has never arrived despite journalists with Chelsea-connections continually insisting one was about to. Then, instead of a Caicedo bid, Chelsea abandoned their £20M deal to sign Tyler Adams from Leeds and submitted a £55M bid to Southampton for Lavia.

Southampton accepted the bid. Those same Chelsea-connected journalists suggested that if Liverpool backed off Caicedo, potentially giving them a chance to sign him for less than £110M, the Blues would back off the Liverpool target.

Then, everyone would get the player they originally wanted and go home. Or at least that seemed the idea. The only problem for Chelsea is that when you can’t match Liverpool’s £110M bid for Caicedo, it’s hard to believe you can sign Lavia for £55M and still then afford Caicedo no matter if Liverpool are in the picture.

Which is to say Chelsea’s move for Lavia looked a transparent bluff, and Liverpool have now signalled that they see it that way and will not back off from Caicedo, maintaining their bid and their interest in the 21-year-old Ecuadorian defensive midfielder.

Meanwhile, everyone waits to see whether Chelsea will finally manage to match Liverpool’s offer for Caicedo, with the latest being that one will arrive on Saturday morning after one had been meant to arrive Friday morning and then Friday lunch and then Friday afternoon...

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