Joao Pedro to Brighton Watford forward signs five-year deal with Seagulls
Brighton have secured a club-record deal to sign Watford forward Joao Pedro; the deal eclipses the £20m fee for defender Adam Webster and will be completed on the first day of the summer transfer window; Pedro has scored 11 goals in 35 Championship games this season
Brighton have completed a club-record deal for Watford forward Joao Pedro, who will join Roberto De Zerbi’s squad at the end of the season.
The 21-year-old forward has signed a five-year deal at the Amex Stadium, an agreement which will start when the summer transfer window opens at the end of the season.
Pedro has scored 11 goals in 35 Championship appearances for Watford this season and was part of the Hornets’ squads that were relegated from the Premier League in 2020 and 2022.
The transfer eclipses the Seagulls’ signing of defender Adam Webster from Bristol City for around £20m in August 2019.
Brighton technical director David Weir said: “Joao has been a long-term target of ours, and he has also attracted a lot of interest from across Europe.
“So, we are delighted to have reached an agreement with a key target for the club ahead of the summer window opening, and it is great for Joao that he can focus on the new season, with his immediate future settled.
“He’s a brilliant young talent, technically very good, quick and with an eye for goal. He will complement our existing forward line very well. He also has settled well here, with good experience of both the Premier League and Championship and more than 100 games for Watford.”
Joao Pedro got his second goal of the game as Watford completed a 2-0 win over Reading in the Championship
Brighton want over £70m for each of Caicedo and Mac Allister
Meanwhile, Brighton will expect offers well in excess of the £70m turned down for Moises Caicedo in January to sanction his exit and that of Alexis Mac Allister this summer.
The players are both on long contracts, which are not thought to include release clauses as CEO Paul Barber has revealed the club avoids them.
Both Caicedo and Mac Allister have been star players for Brighton this season, and have unsurprisingly attracted multiple suitors, putting the Seagulls in an enviable negotiating position.
Brighton have set their price for Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister
Caicedo agreed fresh terms until 2027 in March, with the club having the option of an extra year. Arsenal, who saw their £70m bid rebuffed for the Ecuador international in the winter window, retain strong interest in him.
Caicedo has also featured on the wishlists of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, although the latter have been positively pitching to Mac Allister’s camp. The Argentina international is high on Jurgen Klopp’s shortlist of targets.
The World Cup winner’s contract – signed in October ahead of the tournament in Qatar – runs until 2025, with Brighton again holding a 12-month option.
Caicedo’s transfer to Arsenal was blocked in January as it was too late in the window and counter to Brighton’s aims of securing a European spot.
They will not stand in a player’s way this summer if the club’s valuation is met, and discussions happen in a timely manner. However, there is desire not to have a massive turnover of personnel.
Brighton routinely identify replacements internally or externally for every position – on-pitch or otherwise – and are confident of recruiting well.
Milner deal to Brighton ‘all but done’
James Milner looks to be heading to Brighton
As revealed by Sky Sports News, an agreement to sign James Milner as a free agent is ‘all but done’.
Milner, who is out of contract at Anfield this summer, has also received interest from Burnley but has been blown away by De Zerbi’s tactical innovation, which has seen both Pep Guardiola and Klopp praise Brighton’s football.
The Liverpool midfielder, who will mark 22 seasons in the Premier League in the new campaign, represents an extension of the club’s policy to balance exceptional young talent with a core group of experienced leaders that set standards on and off the pitch.
Milner has heard testimonies of how great De Zerbi is with the elder statesmen in the squad, viewing them more than just players but teachers – even to the coaching staff.
The 37-year-old sees the switch as an opportunity to further challenge himself by adjusting to fresh demands and helping Brighton’s conveyor belt of talent to apply themselves in the most professional way.