Arsenal target Moises Caicedo requests transfer in extraordinary Instagram post
Moises Caicedo has publicly said he wants to leave Brighton this month in an extraordinary social media post, after Arsenal had an opening offer of £60 million rejected for the midfielder.
Caicedo said he hopes the Brighton fans “can understand why I want to take up this magnificent opportunity”.
Chelsea have also shown interest in Caicedo in recent weeks and Arsenal are expected to return with a second offer as they look to test Brighton’s resolve.
Brighton’s public position is that Caicedo is not for sale this month, with head coach Roberto De Zerbi telling the player to wait until the summer to make the move.
But Caicedo has now made it clear that he wants to leave, writing: “I am grateful to Mr Bloom and Brighton for giving me the chance to come to the Premier League and I feel I have always done my best for them. I always play football with a smile and with heart.
“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.
“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 to 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.”
Arsenal are eager to strengthen in midfield following an injury to Mohamed Elneny, and Caicedo has emerged as one of the Premier League’s most exciting young players.
Earlier on Friday, De Zerbi said of Caicedo: “He is a good guy, he is focused only on Brighton. I hope he can stay with us until the end of the season, because my opinion is that this is the best solution for both him and us.
“I spoke with Moises on Wednesday and I told him my opinion. It’s always difficult to change in the season because you can find some problems. For our way, it’s important for him to stay for another four months.
“I spoke with him like a father, not like a coach. I am not an egoist, I understand the possibility to change team and go to a very big team. But my work is to give the style of play and advice for his career, for his life.”
Arsenal have already signed one player from Brighton this month, having completed a £21m deal for forward Leandro Trossard. In the summer of 2021, they signed Ben White from Brighton for a fee of £50m.
Brighton have no financial need to cash in on Caicedo after selling Marc Cucurella to Chelsea for £60m at the start of the season. They also sold Yves Bissouma to Spurs in a deal worth an initial £25m, while Neal Maupay joined Everton for £15m.
Arsenal have a long-term plan to boost their midfield options, with support required for Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. West Ham United and England midfielder Declan Rice is understood to be their top target for the summer window.