Brighton and Hove Albion have reportedly increased their valuation of Moises Caicedo after Arsenal and Chelsea had bids rejected for the midfielder.
The 21-year-old has only played 26 times in the Premier League but he has shone when given the chance.
Caicedo also impressed for Ecuador at the World Cup in Qatar and his form this season has fuelled talk that he could earn himself a major move elsewhere.
Brighton often hold firm and maximise their potential profits from player sales. Chelsea had a £55m bid rejected for Caicedo earlier this month and Arsenal have since seen a £60m offer turned down.
This offer from the Premier League leaders prompted Caicedo to issue a come-and-get-me plea via Instagram.
“I am proud to be able to bring in a record transfer fee for Brighton which would allow them to reinvest it and help the club continue to be successful.
“The fans have taken me into their hearts and they will always be in my heart so I hope they can understand why I want to take up this magnificent opportunity.”
Brighton have not messed around in response to this statement. They have told the midfielder to ‘stay away’ until when the transfer window is closed on February 1.
It has previously been suggested that Caicedo would cost around £75m. But The Independent are reporting that ‘Arsenal and Chelsea need to go to £90m to sign’ him.
It is noted that Caicedo’s recent ‘rebellious actions’ have not changed Brighton’s stance on the transfer.
Brighton’s hierarchy were ‘deeply unimpressed’ by Caicedo’s recent outburst but ‘the belief within the club is that he has been poorly advised by new representatives’.
Arsenal have reportedly been ‘debating whether to go over £70m’ and it is suggested that ‘Thomas Partey’s injury could factor into how aggressive Mikel Arteta’s side are in their next offer’.
A separate report from journalist Ben Jacobs has stated that Caicedo and his team are “frustrated” as Brighton are “not engaging”.
“Moises Caicedo’s new agents are still active and doing everything in their power to get a January move,” Jacobs wrote via Twitter.
“But there is frustration because Brighton are not engaging or providing them or suitors with a specific number. Brighton have also told Arsenal directly the player isn’t for sale.
“This remains a transfer saga that could run until the final hours of the window. Caicedo’s valuation as of now by both Arsenal and Chelsea will drop come summer. £75m+ may yet force meaningful engagement. Previous rejections to Arsenal and Chelsea have been dismissed.
“It’s clear Brighton don’t want (or plan) to sell. Their position is consistent and bullish. But an astronomical offer could yet be tabled by Arsenal or Chelsea. There is a lot of tension. Brighton are sticking to their stance, but Caicedo’s new agents are not done trying yet.”
READ MORE: Arsenal have a unique opportunity. Don’t blow it by low-balling Brighton over Caicedo