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Chelsea ready to hijack £80m midfielder who has ‘agreed personal terms’ with Arsenal following Ugarte failure

The Blues are ready to accelerate their interest in the Premier League star

Chelsea are set to turn their attentions to Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo after being priced out of a move for Sporting midfielder Manuel Ugarte, it has emerged, rivalling Arsenal for the Ecuador star.

The Blues were thought to have secured a deal for Ugarte, with the club having agreed to pay his £52m release clause and with personal terms not thought to be a problem. However, Paris Saint Germain have done likewise, while they offered a more lucrative contract to the 22-year-old which is set to see him spurn London for the French capital.

As a result, the London Evening Standard report that Mauricio Pochettino’s side will now ‘target securing a deal for Caicedo ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool’, with both sides also thought to be keen on the Ecuadorian.

Caicedo attempted to force his way out of Brighton in January, with Arsenal tabling three bids for the 21-year-old only for the Seagulls to reject them all, as well as one from Chelsea earlier in the transfer window.

Six months on, however, it is claimed that ‘Chelsea are optimistic they can reach a deal for Caicedo’, though he is thought to be valued at around £80m by the south coast side.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have also been heavily linked with the breakthrough star, and according to reports coming out of his home country Ecuador, the Gunners have even agreed personal terms with Caicedo, who favours a move to north London due to the fact that they can offer Champions League football.

Though reportedly keen on both, it is uncertain whether Arsenal will be able to shell out the £180m plus that it would require to pull off the two moves, which could leave Chelsea in pole position to land the youngster this summer, something that they will now move quickly to achieve.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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