Lille midfielder Carlos Baleba looks set to become Brighton’s new midfielder, after Caicedo moved to Chelsea for £115m.
The Cameroonian, 19, predominately plays in midfield but can also operate as a centre-back. The teenager is highly regarded in Ligue 1 and is seen as a top talent for the future.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano wrote on X (formerly Twitter): "Carlos Baleba to Brighton, here we go! Verbal agreement reached with Lille on €27m fixed fee plus €3m add-ons and sell-on clause included.
"Personal terms agreed, medical booked. 2004 born midfielder will replace Caicedo. Exclusive from two weeks ago, confirmed.”
Romano reported earlier this afternoon that Brighton were ‘close to reaching total agreement’ for their ‘top target in midfield’.
He added: “New bid up to €30m package add-ons included, it’s very close — now finalising key details.
“Brighton never left the race for 2004 born midfielder despite reports."
Having made his debut for Lille in August last year, Baleba went on to make 21 appearances for Paulo Fonseca’s team, finishing in fifth place and qualifying for the Europa Conference League.
If the Baleba deal was to go ahead, it would take Brighton’s spending for the summer above £80m, a record-breaking sum for the club.
Albion would still come out of this transfer window with more than £90m profit; thanks to the sales of Caicedo, Robert Sanchez and Alexis Mac Allister for a combined total of £170m.