A massive chunk of Brighton and Hove Albion’s summer-focused selling Moises Caicedo. The Ecuadorian midfielder eventually joined Chelsea in what is now the British record transfer fee of £115m. Tony Bloom is likely one happy man, given the insane profit he made on Caicedo, but now it is time for Brighton to find his replacement. As The Top Flight covered earlier, Brighton looked very close to signing Lille’s Carlos Baleba, and now a full agreement has been reached.
The deal completed in principle for Carlos Baleba to Brighton
Fabrizio Romano has given the deal a “here we go.” Carlos Baleba will join Brighton in a deal initially worth £23m but rising to £25.7m through add-ons. Lille will also have a sell-on percentage should Baleba sell the player.
Baleba has played just 24 matches for Lille’s first team, but at 19 years old, he is one to watch with Brighton. He started Lille’s first match of the Ligue 1 season, but after strong rumours linked the player with a move away, he has since come off the bench or not come off the bench at all. Baleba only joined Lille at the beginning of 2022, starting off with Les Douges’ reserve side. Born in Cameroon, Baleba played with Brasseries du Cameroun before his move to Northern France.
It is unlikely the midfielder will be able to perform elite right away, as Caicedo was doing before he left, but Baleba has plenty of potential. With seemingly everything Roberto De Zerbi touches turn to gold, Baleba would like to be the next player to turn into a star under the Italian manager.
Brighton have made plenty of moves in the midfield this transfer window. They have added James Milner and Mahmoud Dahoud on free transfers and also shipped out Alexis Mac Allister, who has joined Liverpool. Baleba will likely be competing for the spot Billy Gilmour currently occupies in the Brighton midfield.