Arsenal ‘preparing a big offer’ for Brighton star De Zerbi loves; Chelsea could scupper Arteta plan

Harry Watkinson
Moises Caicedo Brighton midfielder

Arsenal are reportedly ‘preparing a bid’ for Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, but face stiff competition from Chelsea for his signature.

The 21-year-old played a big role in a tremendous 2022/23 campaign for the Seagulls. This has caught the attention of several European clubs.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea attempted to sign Caicedo in the January transfer window. Now, the London rivals are set to reignite their interest.

Caicedo made 37 Premier League appearances for Brighton this season. He played a key role as De Zerbi’s team secured a historic sixth-place finish and qualified for European football for the first time in their history.

As mentioned, Arsenal saw a £70m bid for Caicedo turned down in January. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a major surprise to see Mikel Arteta go back in for him.

It’s no secret that the Gunners boss is looking to bolster his midfield ahead of next season.

Granit Xhaka is expected to rejoin his former club Bayer Leverkusen this summer, so his departure will leave a void in their squad.

Declan Rice is believed to be Arteta’s primary transfer target, with Arsenal poised to make a £90m offer.

Nevertheless, according to the TimesArsenal are ‘preparing an offer for Caicedo.’ Although, the report notes that this won’t be an easy deal to do.

Brighton knocked back two bids from Arsenal in the January window. Also, the midfielder signed a new contract in March, keeping him at the Amex until 2027.

As a result, the Gunners may have to offer more than £70m to get a deal done. Although, Caicedo is keen on pursuing a fresh challenge elsewhere.

However, Chelsea are also in the race for the Ecuador international. Indeed, as noted by Football365, Chelsea could potentially use Levi Colwill in a part-exchange deal for Caicedo.

Colwill has spent the season on loan with the Seagulls, making 17 Premier League appearances. De Zerbi is thought to be a huge fan of the 20-year-old and wants to make the move permanent.

Brighton have already seen a £30m bid knocked back for Colwill. But, Chelsea could now use the defender as a makeweight in their bid for Caicedo.

Although, it’s expected they will still have to pay a substantial fee alongside Colwill in order to finalise a deal.

With that in mind, we could potentially see a bidding war between Arsenal and Chelsea for Caicedo this summer. So, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top for the midfielder.

READ MORE: Arsenal legend ‘sad’ to see midfielder leave this summer after £13m transfer is ‘agreed’