We’re down to the nitty gritty in the January transfer window, and over these next three days, we’ll some sagas play out. Near the top of this list is Brighton & Hove Albion star Moises Caicedo, who issued a statement on his social media about his club future yesterday.
In his words, it sounds like he’ll be out the door before deadline day hits on Tuesday. But where? Chelsea and Arsenal have both submitted bids for the 21-year-old Ecuadorian midfielder, only to see those offers rejected.
Caicedo released a statement on his Instagram account that 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.”
The Gunners had a £60 million offer turned down on Friday. According to the Daily Mail, they came back with a £70 million offering on Saturday. The article goes on to state that Brighton are holding out for £80 million.
The tug of war could go on until the 11th hour of deadline day, as Brighton are playing hard ball.
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Chelsea have been interested in the Ecuadorian for a long time, but their bids are understood to have fallen well short of the Seagulls’ valuation.
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi, who took over for Graham Potter in early September, had a press conference on Friday, where he spoke out on this topic.
“He [Caicedo] is a good guy. He is focused on Brighton. I hope he can stay with us until the end of the season,” he said.
In my opinion that is the best solution for us. I can understand other big teams want Caicedo, Mac Allister, Mitoma, and March.”
“I spoke with him on Wednesday and I told him my opinion. It is always difficult to change during the season. For our way, it is important for him to stay a few more months.
“He is relaxed. I spoke with him like a father, not a coach. I understand when one player has the possibility to change to a very big team. But my work is to give the style of play but also advice for his career and his life.”
The x-factor in all of this is Declan Rice. The West Ham United and England midfielder has already made it clear that he intends to switch clubs this summer, and Chelsea have been after him forever. They want him badly.
Arsenal are interested in him too. But will either club still pursue him if/when they acquire Moises Caicedo?
Some reports say yes, but we’ll see.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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