Caicedo misses Brighton training as club tell him to ‘stay away’ until Feb 1 after Arsenal bid
Moises Caicedo has missed Brighton training as he attempts to force his exit from the club amid interest from Arsenal and Chelsea, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
It was revealed yesterday by Romano that Arsenal had seen a £60m offer for the Ecuador international turned down by Brighton with the Seagulls unwilling to sell in the middle of the season.
There were reports yesterday that Caicedo was prepared to hand in a transfer request to force a move in January but Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi played down fears that he would leave this month.
De Zerbi told reporters when asked about the interest in Caicedo from Arsenal: “I think he is a good guy, he is only focused on Brighton. I hope he can stay with us until the end of the season. My opinion is that is the best solution for him and us.
“I can understand big clubs want our young players like [Alexis] Mac Allister, [Kaoru] Mitoma, Caicedo, Solly March, but the decision is only between the player and club. I spoke to [Caicedo] on Wednesday and told him my opinion, it is difficult to change teams in the season. You can find more problems. It is important for him to stay another four months with us.”
De Zerbi added: “He’s relaxed. I spoke to him like a father, not a coach. I understand when a player has a possibility to change team and go to a big team, [it is a big moment]. My work is to give the style of play, but also advice on his career and life.
“I have to repeat. The problem is never selling, but who you want to buy. You can improve if a big player leaves; we have to know our level. Together we want to improve. Interest in our players is good for us.”
But Caicedo surprised Brighton last night as he released a statement on Instagram in an effort to convince the Seagulls to allow him to persue a “magnificent opportunity” at Arsenal.
The statement read: “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 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.”
And now Romano has claimed that Caicedo skipped training on Saturday ahead of their FA Cup match against Liverpool on Sunday.
Romano tweeted: “Moises Caicedo didn’t turn up for training today — he wants leave immediately. Caicedo could also miss tomorrow’s game. Understand Arsenal are expected to improve their bid, after £60m revealed yesterday. Chelsea offered £55m — rejected too.”
The Athletic journalist David Ornstein confirmed this and said he would be miss the match against Liverpool – but Brighton still expect him to stay beyond January.
Ornstein wrote on Twitter: “Moises Caicedo will not attend Brighton training at 11am, nor play v Liverpool tomorrow. Brighton have told 21yo Ecuador midfielder to stay away until Feb 1 when transfer window closes + expect him to be part of squad for 2nd half of season.”
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