Chelsea are preparing their opening offer for no.1 midfield target Moises Caicedo, but have reportedly been told that they will need to pay a similar fee to the £105m that London rivals Arsenal are set to shell out for Declan Rice.
The Blues have enjoyed a substantial clear out in the opening weeks of the transfer window, with midfield quartet Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic all leaving to join Manchester United, Al-Ittihad, AC Milan and Manchester City respectively.
Now, attentions will turn to incomings, with Caicedo widely reported to be the club’s no.1 target to play alongside record-signing Enzo Fernandez in the heart of the Blues midfield.
Impressing in his 18 months in the Premier League, Caicedo signed a new contract with Brighton in February but Roberto De Zerbi admitted that his player had likely played his final game for the club at the end of last season.
As per 90min, the Blues are ‘preparing to make an opening offer’ for Caicedo, having seen one turned down in January for his services.
Though personal terms are not thought to be an issue (The midfielder is keen to leave Brighton this summer), the price could become a stumbling block, especially with Chelsea refusing to sell Levi Colwill to Brighton this summer.
The same report claims that Brighton ‘feel Caicedo’s fee should be in the same “ball park” as Declan Rice’s £105m move, which is well above the £60m that Chelsea offered for the Ecuadorian in January.
Arsenal were also keen on Caicedo, having seen three bids turned down in January, but having shelled out over £200m on new players already this summer (Including Chelsea’s Kai Havertz), a mega offer from the Gunners seems unlikely at this stage, leaving the Blues with largely a free run at the midfielder.