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Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, according to transfer reports.
The Gunners are short of options in the centre of the park, with manager Mikel Arteta confirming that he would light to bring in reinforcements following Mohamed Elneny’s recent knee injury. “There are concerns. Mo is a player who never complains about anything but let’s see”, Arteta said when discussing Elneny ahead of Friday’s match against Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
“We need some more cover in midfield, ideally, if we can. But this market is complicated. But as I always say, the most important thing is we get the performances and the time on the pitch with the players we already have on the pitch are really good.”
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One player that has been mooted as a potential target is Caicedo, who has enjoyed a hugely impressive start to the 2022/23 campaign with Brighton and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reported on Friday morning that an official bid was lodged by Arsenal. Writing on Twitter, Romano said: “EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal have submitted £60m bid to sign Moises Caicedo as new midfielder #AFC Chelsea had £55m verbal proposal rejected this January as Brighton hope to keep the player — but Arsenal are now pushing.
“Negotiations enter into key stages for Caicedo’s future.” The Gunners signed Belgian attacker Leandro Trossard from the Seagulls last week, also bringing in defender Ben White from the Amex Stadium back in the summer of 2021, when Arsenal Director of Football Operations Richard Garlick was said to be key in negotiations.
Brighton’s chief executive Paul Barber had regular dealings with Garlick during the latter’s days as Premier League’s director of football in 2018, as per The Athletic. The Gunners will hope that Garlick’s solid working relationship with Barber could help make Caicedo negotiations smoother in the coming days.
Chelsea have also been heavily linked with the Ecuador international in recent times and have a history of pipping Arsenal in the transfer market, signing their primary January target Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk a fortnight ago. football.london understands that it will take a high fee to prise Caicedo away from the Amex this month, with Brighton valuing their midfielder in upwards of £75 million.
Roberto De Zerbi’s side had an offer for Amadou Haidara rejected by Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, who do not want to sell this month, according to recent reports. This makes a January exit for Caicedo even more unlikely unless Leipzig’s position changes before next week’s deadline.
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