Moises Caicedo: Brighton reject Arsenal £60m bid for midfielder
Brighton have rejected a £60m bid from Arsenal for midfielder Moises Caicedo.
The Premier League leaders are keen to strengthen their squad after Mohamed Elneny picked up an injury in training that could mean a lengthy lay-off.
Arsenal already have a small squad and manager Mikel Arteta does not want to jeopardise his team’s title challenge through a lack of numbers.
Brighton had reportedly already turned down a £55m bid by Chelsea for 21-year-old Caicedo.
The Seagulls sold Marc Cucurella to Chelsea in a deal worth £60m, Yves Bissouma to Tottenham for £25m plus add-ons and Neal Maupay to Everton for £15m in the summer.
Earlier this month, Leandro Trossard left them to join to Arsenal for an initial £21m and Brighton do not have a financial reason to sell Caicedo
The south coast club are sixth in the table, and could move to fifth if they win their two games in hand, they have no desire to sell the Ecuador international either.
Caicedo has made 26 appearances in the Premier League, scoring twice and is under contract until 2025.
It is expected Arsenal will return with another offer but it remains to be seen whether Caicedo, who recently changed agents, will try to force his way out of the club before the window closes on Tuesday night.
Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi told a news conference on Friday that the midfielder was “relaxed” and “focused only on Brighton.”
The Italian said: “I spoke with him like a father, not like a coach.
“I hope he can stay with us until the end of the season because for my idea/my opinion that’s the best solution for him and for us.”
“I am focused on Brighton,” Caicedo said recently. “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 focused only on here.
“I handle [the speculation] well. You hear rumours here and there, but I only try to be focused on the club.”