Arsenal’s £60 million bid for midfielder Moises Caicedo has been rejected by Brighton.
The Premier League leaders are looking to bolster their squad after Mohamed Elneny suffered an injury in training that could result in a lengthy absence.
Arsenal already has a small squad, and manager Mikel Arteta does not want a lack of numbers to jeopardize his team’s title challenge.
Brighton reportedly turned down a £55 million bid from Chelsea for Caicedo, who is 21 years old.
In the summer, the Seagulls sold Marc Cucurella to Chelsea for £60 million, Yves Bissouma to Tottenham for £25 million plus add-ons, and Neal Maupay to Everton for £15 million.
Leandro Trossard left them earlier this month to join Arsenal for an initial fee of £21 million, and Brighton have no financial reason to sell Caicedo.
They have no desire to sell the Ecuador international either, given that they are currently sixth in the table, with the potential to move to fifth if they win their two games in hand on Tottenham.
Caicedo has made 26 Premier League appearances, scoring twice, and is under contract until 2025.
However, talks are ongoing, and it is expected that Arsenal will make another offer. It remains to be seen whether Caicedo, who recently changed agents, will try to force his way out of the club before the transfer window closes on Tuesday night.
Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi stated at a press conference on Friday that the midfielder is “relaxed” and “only focused on Brighton.”
According to the Italian: “I addressed him as a father, not as a coach.
“I hope he can stay with us until the end of the season because that’s the best solution for him and for us in my opinion.”