Brighton are determined to hold onto Moises Caicedo despite Arsenal continuing to make bids for the Ecuador international, according to reports.
The Gunners are desperate to bring in a new midfielder this month with their depth in that area of the team looking thin after Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey recently suffered injuries.
Reports have claimed that Partey should be fit to face Everton next weekend after picking up a rib injury against Manchester City on Friday but it is still unclear how long Elneny will be out for.
Albert Sambi Lokonga hasn’t impressed when called upon and The Athletic journalist David Ornstein claims that ‘the view at Arsenal is that the Premier League leaders must sign a midfielder in the next two days’.
Arsenal had a £60m bid for Caicedo turned down on Friday night before seeing a new £65m plus £5m in add-ons offer rejected over the weekend and Brighton have ‘dismissed it as irrelevant because they insist the Ecuador international is not for sale and going nowhere’.
Despite being told as much in direct talks, Arsenal seem to be ignoring the Seagulls and ‘interest remains’ from the north London club ahead of the deadline.
‘Brighton have been exploring potential replacements if he were to leave but that is just part of their normal recruitment process.
‘The club consider the case closed for this market — not only is the 21-year-old under contract until 2025 but there is an option to extend that by a further 12 months.’
Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi is still hoping that Caicedo stays and insists there are “many solutions” after Caicedo made it clear he wants to leave the club.
“Moises is a good guy, we will see tomorrow and the next days what happens,” De Zerbi said ahead of their 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup.
“We hope he stays with us until the end of the season. In life you can make mistakes. For everyone there are many solutions. We will see the best solution for him and for us.”
Speaking on social media late last week, Caicedo made his feelings clear, he wrote: “I am grateful to Brighton for giving me the chance to come to the Premier League and I feel I have always done my best. I always play football with a smile and with heart.
“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.
“I am the youngest of 10 siblings from a poor upbringing in Santa Domingo in Ecuador. My dream always to be the most decorated player in the history of Ecuador.
“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 this magnificent opportunity.”
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