Transfer gossip: Arsenal challenge Chelsea in record £150m battle for exciting midfield pair

Matt Stead
James Maddison is tackled by Arsenal target Moises Caicedo

Brighton want a record-equalling fee for Moises Caicedo and Everton are after half that to sell Amadou Onana, with Arsenal and Chelsea interested in both.


It is not often that teams at the summit and foot of the top half of the Premier League table are locked in a potential record-matching transfer battle. But that is the apparent reality facing Arsenal, Chelsea and Moises Caicedo, who Brighton value at £100m.

That fee would indeed equal the bar set by Manchester City and Jack Grealish in summer 2021, with Brighton rejecting an offer from Chelsea worth little over half that amount already this month.

The Seagulls, according to The Times, ‘will not countenance’ another player sale in January but could see things differently at the end of the season, by which time some absolute random they signed for peanuts from South America will have broken into the first team as Caicedo’s replacement.


Chelsea might seek to raise the remainder of that Brighton valuation through player sales. The Blues of old certainly would have done and they do have 427 forwards so can afford to lose one or two.

That could be good or bad news for Kai Havertz, depending on the chosen perspective. Sky Germany reckon he may be shipped back off to the Bundesliga in a move which suits all prospective parties.

Florian Plettenberg told sister channel Sky Sports that Chelsea’s extravagant spending “can have an indirect impact on German clubs,” who have done the maths and reckon there will have to be outgoings at Stamford Bridge soon.

And that brings Havertz into the equation, despite him being impressed by Potter and happy with life in west London. Plettenberg has heard speculation surrounding a potential €60m (£52.9m) transfer – although he rules out Bayern Munich as an interested party, which would make things slightly awkward as no other Bundesliga club has ever signed a player for more than £37m.


But back to Premier League leaders Arsenal, who are spinning a few central midfield plates and keeping track of Caicedo, Declan Rice and Amadou Onana, among others.

The Onana link comes from 90min’s Talking Transfer podcast but Everton are determined to keep the Belgian midfielder and would want at least £50m for his services, whether he rocks up to training or not.

The good folks over at Het Laaste Nieuws mention the Gunners and Newcastle in their report but focus mainly on Chelsea, who are monitoring Onana’s situation because obviously. There has been no contact from the Blues, never mind an offer, but talk nonetheless persists that they could sign the Belgian and loan him straight back.