Manchester United’s pursuit of Moises Caicedo appears for now to have hit a lull.

More teams are showing interest in the Ecuador international, with El Telegraph reporting Chelsea and Ajax are both keen.

MLS Soccer also report there is an attractive offer from an American side in play too, while Diario Extra in Ecuador claim Everton are keen.

It had previously been suggested United were closing on Caicedo, with ESPN South America reporting he has caught the club’s eye.

There may well be discussions ongoing behind the scenes. But a move does not appear imminent just yet.

There is clearly activity going on around Caicedo. It is just unclear how much of this relates to United.

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(Photo by RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP via Getty Images)

What are his club saying?

Independiente del Valle concede they are unlikely to be able to keep hold of Caicedo this transfer window.

The 19-year-old is an Ecuador international and reports of United’s interest has helped boost his reputation.

General manager Santiago Morales was quoted by El Universo discussing claims of United’s interest: “There has been no offer. To give a transfer they should talk to Independiente and that has not happened.”

He insisted they have alternative options, adding, “We have two strong teams from Europe interested in him, without reaching any understanding yet, but we hope that their negotiation will be prompt.”

One possible complication is a desire for a 25 per cent sell on fee.

 

However, this need not be a sticking point. AS report United have agreed a 20 per cent sell on fee with Penarol over any future transfer of Facundo Pellistri. It is a small price to pay for signing a player relatively cheap, and in any case, United do not intend on selling him.

Are United dropping the ball?

Possibly. This deal looked like a no-brainer with the chance to sign a talented central midfielder for under £10 million.

Caicedo has three assists and one goal in four international games and at the age of 19 is already looking like a star of the future. He would be a very smart investment.

There is a long way to go this month though, and the midfielder will be subject to a work permit. Work behind the scenes on this could be behind the delay, while his club are using the media to try and drive up the price.

The MEN reported in late December that United were targeting Caicedo as part of a strategy to buy top young talents early.

This is far smarter than trying to by Caicedo in a few years time when his value has risen towards the £50 million mark.

Ecuador v Uruguay - South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022
(Photo by Rodrigo Buendia – Pool/Getty Images)

It’s unclear if United have until the end of the month or if Independiente are pushing for a quick sale. If the latter, then United’s laid back approach could backfire, with a seeming lack of communication with the selling club proving to be an issue.

This should be a straightforward deal to conclude, if United communicate effectively. This seemed to be a problem with trying to land Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund last year.

South American football expert Tim Vickery told Sky Sports this week United are ‘locked in’ over the pursuit of Caicedo and talked him up as a very special talent.

The ball is in United’s court to show how much the club want Caicedo. If at all. It’s time to pay up a fair inconsequentially low fee to land one of the world’s top young prospects, or risk missing out.

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