MANCHESTER UNITED reportedly dropped out of the running for Moises Caicedo after negotiations became a ‘clusterf***’.
The Manchester Evening News claims Brighton’s deadline day signing was on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s shopping list last month.
United opened talks with Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle over a £4.5million deal.
But the Red Devils later dropped out of the race for the 19-year-old after negotiations became problematic.
The report adds United were also forced to walk away from a potential move for Kieran Trippier after the Atletico Madrid man was unsuccessful in his appeal against a ten-week betting ban.
It means Atalanta’s Amad Diallo was the only arrival in January.
And Brighton’s technical director Dan Ashworth offered some insight into the complicated negotiations for Caicedo after the deal was confirmed.
He explained: “Moises has had a lot of interest from clubs across Europe, which is understandable given how well he has done.
“He’s been one the recruitment team has been aware of for some time and we are confident he is a player with a very exciting future ahead.
“It has been a complicated transfer, due to the current restrictions, and there has been a lot of hard work across several of the club’s departments to get the transfer completed.
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“Moises is still a young player, moving away from his country for the first time, so we allow him the time he needs to adjust and adapt.”
Despite that, Brighton are confident United’s loss is their gain.
Boss Graham Potter beamed: “It’s no secret we have been working to bring Moises to the club, and we are very please he is finally here.
“He will need time to settle in with the group, for us to get to know him and vice versa, as well as get up to speed and ready for the demands of the Premier League.
“He has done very well in Ecuador and made his debut for his country at just 18. He’s an exciting signing, but it is important we give him time to adjust.”