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Roberto de Zerbi reveals Moises Caicedo latest and drops Levi Colwill hint amid Chelsea standoff

The Brighton boss was quizzed on the future of his star

Roberto De Zerbi has not ruled out keeping Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo beyond this summer despite the Ecuadorian being widely expected to depart the club ahead of the new season.

The midfielder was forced to remain on the south coast in January despite three bids from Arsenal and one from Chelsea for his services, and later penned a new contract until 2027 but was expected to be allowed to leave this summer after helping the Seagulls qualify for Europa League football for the first time.

He will be allowed to leave, too, but not on the cheap. After rejecting £70m bids in January, it is understood that Brighton value the Ecuador midfielder at around £100m, having seen Declan Rice join Arsenal for a similar amount earlier in the window.

Despite interest from Chelsea, that valuation has not been met and the Blues’ latest £70m offer was rejected out of hand.

Now, De Zerbi has piled more pressure on Mauricio Pochettino’s side by admitting that they are under no obligation to let Caicedo leave this summer, revealing that no promises were made to allow him to depart.

“It is not true [that he gave his word that Caicedo could leave this summer]”, he explained. “I am coach, not owner, I’m not a sporting director. I’m only a coach,” De Zerbi said.

“We didn’t speak about the next transfer market window and for me, he is a player like the others. OK, we are Brighton and I can understand we have to sell any player at the end of the season.

“But at the moment, I have not received news that Caicedo can leave tomorrow or in the next week. I start the next season with Caicedo in my head in the first 11, for sure.”

However, he added that using Levi Colwill in any deal could prove a winning formula for Chelsea. The defender spent last season on loan at Brighton and the Seagulls have seen a £40m bid turned down to take him to the south coast permanently, with Chelsea desperate to keep him.

Brighton recognise this, and while they remain keen to sign him, they are closing in on a deal for Fiorentina defender Igor as their latest addition on the left-side of defence.


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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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