According to Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth, United are “expected to bid” for the Brighton man, despite the Seagulls having no intention to sell the 20-year-old.
United could have reportedly signed the young midfielder for just £4.5m before he joined Graham Potter’s side and they will rightfully demand a significantly increased fee should United come knocking this summer.
When Manchester United met Brighton towards the end of last season, they would suffer a 4-0 defeat on the south coast, with Caicedo running the show in midfield, earning an 8.7 rating from WhoScored for his goal-scoring performance.
There was a similar story earlier this month, as the young midfielder was once again one of the top performers in the 2-1 win at Old Trafford, earning an impressive 7.5 rating from WhoScored.
Across those two matches, the midfield machine won three aerial duels, seven tackles, five interceptions and played three key passes as he demonstrated that he is well and truly battle-hardened for the Premier League.
Fred, meanwhile, would earn a shocking 5.9 rating for his performance in the defeat, with Caicedo running rings around the Brazilian and emphasising to Ten Hag what he could have had.
Indeed, while Fred was dragged off on 53 minutes after failing to win a tackle or complete a key pass, Potter was busy drooling over the man United are now interested in.
Speaking after the game, he said:
“I thought his first-half performance was so impressive. He is not that old and is still adapting and learning but he has great qualities. He’s fantastic, he really is.”
It is no surprise to see United linked with him after those two displays but the reality is that poor board decisions have once again let them down, as they could have signed him for a much cheaper fee just over a year ago.
If United were able to negotiate a fee for the 20-year-old, then he could perhaps oust Fred from the first team after a less than impressive start to the season for the former Shakhtar Donetsk man. Just think, if he’s already having nightmares about coming up against Caicedo, this will surely do little to make them go away.
It is clear that Ten Hag needs improvements in midfield and Caicedo could be the ideal upgrade, but unfortunately it seems as if United may have already missed their chance in this case.