Chelsea are ready to step up their interest in Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo with the Ecuadorian thought to be ‘frustrated’ by the lack of progress on his potential move away this summer.
The Blues are thought to be the frontrunners for the 21-year-old’s signature, indeed some within the transfer business see him as ‘wrapped in blue’, but progress has been complicated by Chelsea’s unwillingness to sell Levi Colwill to Brighton as part of any deal for Caicedo.
They have already seen one £60m bid turned down for the midfielder this summer, as well as a bid in January which was rejected out of hand, and attentions so far have been on sales more than incomings at Stamford Bridge, with over £200m having already been recouped this summer.
That has left them in a strong position, and they are now expected to return for Caicedo this week. According to the London Evening Standard, the Blues are ready to make a second offer, consisting of £70m + potential add-ons, though it is again believed that Brighton will reject it with the Seagulls holding out for more money.
He is Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino’s no.1 target this summer, and Caicedo has ‘already agreed personal terms at Stamford Bridge’, which will smooth any switch when an offer is ultimately accepted.
Chelsea’s latest bid, however, is not too dissimilar to one which Arsenal saw rejected in January, and there are concerns that should they dawdle, other sides may come in and raise the price of the midfielder, with Arsenal not completely ruled out of the race.
Speaking last week, Caicedo admitted that a move to Chelsea would be impossible to turn down, but his comments appear to be equally applicable to the north London side should they make a bid.
“It’s a big team, that’s true. A very historic team which I can’t say no [to joining] because it’s a very big, historic, beautiful team.
“The city as well is beautiful. It’s got everything beautiful.”
Mauricio Pochettino is keen to have much of his squad finalised before they jet off for their USA pre-season tour, which begins with a game against Wrexham on Thursday.