Brighton ‘confident’ Caicedo will land big move after Arsenal bid enough for ‘half the player’
Arsenal made a bid worth “half the player” for Moises Caicedo in the winter transfer window, Brighton chief executive Paul Barber has said.
The Gunners reportedly made a bid worth £70million for the Ecuadorian midfielder.
This was turned down by the Seagulls, however, who were reluctant to let one of their best players leave midway through the season.
Arsenal turned to Jorginho after failing to land Caicedo, signing him from Chelsea for around £10m.
Caicedo did push to join the Premier League leaders, taking to Instagram to urge Brighton to sell him for a “record transfer”.
After the transfer window closed, the 21-year-old penned a new four-and-a-half-year contract.
And in an interview with The Beautiful Game podcast, Brighton CEO Barber has lifted the lid on the winter transfer saga.
When asked about Arsenal trying to sign Caicedo for £70m, Barber responded: “Only if they wanted half the player!
“I mean, joking aide, we never provide the numbers. It always amuses us when we see numbers in the media, because they’ve not come from us.”
Barber then explained that selling Moises in the winter window didn’t make sense as a club given what they can achieve this season.
“For us in January selling Moises wasn’t a good move because he’s one of our best players in the first half of the season and secondly we were in a great position in the league, we were still in the FA Cup, we still had a lot of football to play and we want to achieve our best ever finish in the Premier League,” he continued.
“The stakes for us in the second half of the season were higher than ever and Moises is a big part of that.
“He is also a young player who is still learning his game. He is in a faraway country from where he was born and therefore we have a responsibility to try and do the best for the player long-term, as well as in the short-term for us.
“We felt that was best served by keeping Moises with us, trying to do the best we can for the rest of this season and then what will be in the future will be.
“Moises is a top, top class player and has the potential to be anything he wants to be, anywhere he wants to be and therefore, this is not the one and only transfer window Moises is going to be a popular attraction for other clubs.
“When we sat down with him and talked about that and once all the heat of the window had gone out and we were able to agree a new contract with him, settle him back down and as you have seen in the last few games he’s beginning to get back to that level he was at in the first half (of the season).
“His chance will come in the future to be whatever he wants to be and we are all very confident that will happen for him.”
Barber then confirmed there are no clauses in Caicedo’s new contract.
“We don’t operate like that and we try and avoid things like that because they become such a big point of discussion in negotiations,” he explained.
Despite his March contract extension, Caicedo is still expected to be the subject of transfer interest this summer.
Arsenal remain interested – though they are prioritising the signing of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice – while Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United are also reportedly keen.
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