Romano: Arsenal ‘remain interested’ in player Arteta failed to sign with £70m January bid

Jason Soutar
Fabrizio Romano on Arsenal target Moises Caicedo

Arsenal are still interested in signing Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo after failing with a £70million bid in January, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Gunners had made Ukrainian winger Mykhaylo Mudryk their top winter target before he joined Chelsea, with Mikel Arteta signing Leandro Trossard from Brighton as an alternative.

After missing out on Mudryk, Arteta decided to pursue a defensive midfielder and aggressively pursued Caicedo.

Arsenal had two bids rejected by Brighton and were willing to spend £70m on the Ecuadorian international.

After signing Trossard as a cheap alternative to Mudryk, Arteta brought in Chelsea’s Jorginho for a measly £12m.

Despite the signing of Jorginho, the Gunners remain in the market for a new midfielder.

West Ham’s Declan Rice is believed to be their number-one priority ahead of the summer transfer window, though have also been linked with Southampton youngster Romeo Lavia and Caicedo.

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Caicedo is attracting interest from a host of Premier League clubs with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United also reportedly keen.

It is no surprise to see so much interest in the 21-year-old – who has been outstanding on the south coast and is a huge reason why Brighton have been so successful this season.

The Seagulls are pushing for a Champions League place and have an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United to look forward to.

Even if they do finish inside the top four of the Premier League, there are expected to be lots of enquiries made about the club’s top talent.

Alexis Mac Allister is another player expected to leave at the end of the season with Liverpool and United preparing a bid.

Caicedo is arguably Brighton’s most valuable asset, however, and a player who is very desirable for top clubs.

The importance of having a top-class defensive midfielder is growing and they are a rare breed, with only a few clubs fortunate enough to have an elite No. 6 at their disposal.

Manchester City’s Rodri and United’s Casemiro come to mind, and Caicedo is on the cusp of being in the same bracket as those two players.

And with Arsenal struggling to rely on Thomas Partey – who is often injured – it has been claimed by transfer expert Fabrizio Romano that Arteta is still eager to bring Caicedo to the Emirates.

Partey has been excellent over the course of this season, but has proven himself to be unreliable and has actually struggled on the pitch in recent weeks, which has had a direct impact on the Gunners’ results.

Writing in his CaughtOffside column, Romano said Arsenal ‘are still interested’, though ‘there are more English clubs keeping an eye on his situation’.

Romano does add that Real Madrid is the player’s ‘dream club’ – which Caicedo admitted earlier this week.

There doesn’t appear to be any ‘concrete talks’ going on with the European champions, however.

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