Chelsea in danger to lose battle for EPL No.25 to bitter rivals

By | January 25, 2023

Arsenal have reportedly joined Chelsea and Liverpool in the race to sign Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo.

The 21-year-old has established himself as a star player at the Amex Stadium since making his Premier League debut in April last year and his performances have caught the eye of a number of top English clubs.

A report earlier this month claims that Caicedo has told friends that he is keen to join Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp’s side prioritising the addition of a new centre-midfielder.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are understood to have made an improved bid of around £65m to sign the Ecuador international, after seeing an opening offer of £55m rejected by Brighton.

Manchester United and Newcastle United have also been credited with an interest in Caicedo in recent months, but Arsenal are now the latest club who are said to have joined the race for his signature.

According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are all ‘well informed’ of Caicedo’s situation, with the midfielder having recently changed agents.

Indeed, the youngster is now represented by Futbol Division, the same company as Ecuador teammate Piero Hincapie, and Romano adds that his future at Brighton is “one to watch” in the final week of the January transfer window.

Caicedo, who has made 31 appearances for Brighton in all competitions, in under contract until June 2025, but head coach Roberto De Zerbi recently refused to rule out an exit for the midfielder.

Speaking to reporters last week, De Zerbi said: “The mentality of Moises is amazing. He doesn’t need something more. To know that big teams in Europe want him isn’t a problem for him.

“He’s 21 but like me, 43, because he’s a good guy, a smart guy, mature guy. He’s a very important player, a strong player, a big player.

“I think he can become one of the best midfielders in Europe. For me he is now, but in the next two years for sure, because he’s technical but he, strong, physical. He’s complete.

“But the question about whether we sell our big players is not for me, it’s for our owner. The problem is not to sell. The problem is to buy the new players with the same level or the same potential as the ones you sell. For the moment I think the club is working well in terms of scouting for new players.”

Meanwhile, Caicedo has recently insisted that he is ‘focused only on Brighton’ amid speculation about his future, telling the club’s official website: “I am focussed on Brighton. I am here, I’m playing every day. Things from outside don’t trouble me, nor does it take that focus away because I’m focussed only on here.

“I handle [the speculation] well. You hear rumours here and there, but I only try to be focused on the club where I am now, the club which opened the doors for me to be playing every week.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is believed to be keen to recruit a new centre-midfielder within the next two transfer windows, with Caicedo among a number of high-profile targets along with West Ham United’s Declan Rice.