The final days of the January transfer window look set to include an ongoing showdown over the services of Ecuadorian starlet Moisés Caicedo as Brighton plan to resist a late surge for the 21-year-old by Premier League giant pair Arsenal and Chelsea.
Both the Gunners and the Blues submitted formal bids for the central midfielder yesterday, with Arsenal coming in with a £60m offer that could have trumped Chelsea’s £55m opening salvo, but Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls are staunchly against allowing the former C.S.D. Independiente del Valle academy product to vacate his south coast residence at the midway point of the 2022-23 league campaign.
Caicedo is now barred from training until the conclusion of the window after the youngster took to his personal Instagram account to produce a shocking public transfer request that detailed his desire to leave at once despite previously saying he was committed to the club for the remainder of the season.
With this knowledge, Arsenal has reportedly come back in with an improved £60m offer with £10m in add-ons according to Mail Sports’ Simon Jones, but Brighton is prepared to resist all offers under their £80m valuation despite only bringing the player in for just £4m two years ago.
Arsenal is currently in the midst of vigilantly building their long-term midfield picture and is targeting both Caicedo and West Ham United star man Declan Rice, adding to key central duo Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka.
Arteta’s men lost at Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup highlighted notable discussion topics for the club’s current situation after Partey was first thought to sustain a possible rib injury that initially was felt could keep him sidelined for up to six weeks, while Belgian international midfielder Sambi Lokonga once again was unable to reach performance levels needed by the club if he is to be trusted by the Spanish tactician.
Chelsea’s offer for Caicedo comes in the wake of the club failing to bring in Argentina starlet Enzo Fernández from SL Benfica as the Blues continue to rival Arsenal for a number of possible signings across this window and have already won battles against their London rivals for both João Félix and Mykhailo Mudryk.
There is no indication yet that Chelsea will submit an improved offer, but if recent history is anything to go by, it seems likely that this could come down to the wire on deadline day.