Chelsea have smashed the British transfer record for the second time in a year by shelling out £115m for Brighton and Ecuador midfielder Moises Caicedo.
The Blues saw off competition from Liverpool for the 21-year-old, who becomes the 20th permanent signing since their takeover by Todd Boehly’s consortium last summer.
And the west Londoners could be set to splash out even more, with another transfer tug-of-war with Liverpool ongoing over Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia.
The fee for Caicedo eclipses the £106m that Chelsea agreed to pay Benfica for Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez in the January transfer window.
It takes their transfer spending in the Boehly era to more than £800m in little more than a year as the new owners have overseen a drastic overhaul both on the field and off it.
Brighton fended off interest in Caicedo from Chelsea and Arsenal last winter and in doing so have secured a huge return on a player they signed for £4m in January 2021.
He made just 45 Premier League appearances in that time, scoring two goals, but quickly built a reputation as one of the strongest midfielders in the division.
Caicedo has signed an eight-year contract at Chelsea, who began life under new manager Mauricio Pochettino with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool in their Premier League opener on Sunday.
Chelsea also remain in the hunt for Lavia, who could follow James Ward-Prowse in leaving Southampton following their relegation to the Championship.
England midfielder Ward-Prowse on Monday completed a £30m transfer to West Ham United, where he has signed a four-year contract.
The Blues could also sign another goalkeeper as back-up to Robert Sanchez after allowing Kepa Arrizabalaga to join Real Madrid on loan.
Elsewhere in European football, Neymar is poised to leave Paris Saint-Germain for Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal in a deal worth around £78m.