- Pochettino keen on signing Ugarte
- Uruguayan has £52m release clause
- Chelsea have been tracking Caicedo since January
WHAT HAPPENED? It's been a matter of days since Mauricio Pochettino was confirmed as the new Chelsea manager, but he's already getting to work behind the scenes. While the immediate priority this summer is a clearout, he is also keen to bolster the midfield, with The Guardian reporting that the club plans to strike for two players in Sporting's Ugarte and Brighton's Caicedo. Ugarte's contract contains a £52m release clause, but Caicedo could be significantly more expensive, with numerous clubs chasing the 21-year-old midfielder. It could take up to £80 million ($100m) to lure the Ecuadorian, meaning that a move for both midfielders would be extremely costly.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: After spending nearly £600m ($747m) in the past two windows combined, Chelsea need to clear out a number of players this summer if they're to make room in their bloated squad for the likes of Caicedo and Ugarte. Mateo Kovacic is in talks with Man City and Mason Mount has been linked with a move away for some time, so the additions of Caicedo and Ugarte would certainly boost the Blues' midfield, but they would have to make room in the squad somewhere.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Despite that need to shrink the playing staff at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea recently rejected a £30m bid from Brighton for 20-year-old centre-back Levi Colwill, who has impressed on loan at Albion this season. If the west London club do manage to get hold of Caicedo, he could end up playing alongside his former team-mate, who was pivotal in the Seagulls' neatly structured build-up play this season.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty(C)Getty ImagesGetty
WHAT NEXT FOR CAICEDO? Chelsea aren't the only Premier League club who are keen to sign Brighton's hottest property, Caicedo. The south coast club have accepted that the Ecuador star is likely to leave this summer alongside Alexis Mac Allister, but his destination is unclear at the moment, with Arsenal rumoured to be keen on adding him to their ranks, among other clubs.