28th Jan, 2023 @ 02:33 pm
Brighton have told midfielder Moises Caicedo to stay away from training until after Tuesday’s transfer deadline in response to his plea to leave the club.
Caicedo released a post on Instagram making it clear he wanted to leave on Friday evening, saying he would be “proud to be able to bring in a record transfer fee for Brighton”.
Arsenal have had a £60m bid rejected for the Ecuador international already in this window, while Chelsea have also expressed an interest in the 21-year-old who has only been training with the Seagulls’ first team since the summer.
Brighton have made it clear to Caicedo he won’t be leaving in this window and is not for sale. They appreciate his head has been turned by the interest in him, and have given him a few days away to get his head right for the remainder of the season.
Caicedo’s social media 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.”
Caicedo said on Brighton’s official website earlier this week that he was focused solely on his current club.
Leandro Trossard has already swapped Brighton for Arsenal in the current window in a deal worth a £27m, but Brighton are determined to keep hold of Caicedo.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta refused to comment on the midfielder when asked about him after Friday night’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Arteta said: “You know that I’m not going to comment on any players until anything is done and I will continue like that, sorry.
“As I said before we’ve been pretty active in the market. We have some necessities and if something is available the club is willing to try to do it, when it’s reasonable and hopefully it’s a player who can improve our squad.”
The Ecuador international begged Brighton to let him leave in an Instagram message on Friday night after Sportsmail reported that he was considering handing in a transfer request.
Caicedo, 21, wrote that a record transfer fee ‘would allow Brighton to reinvest and help the club continue to be successful.’
Now, The Athletic have reported that Caicedo will be absent from Saturday morning’s training session and will play no part in Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round tie with Liverpool at the Amex Stadium.
Brighton have maintained Caicedo isn’t for sale ahead of Tuesday’s transfer deadline and have rejected a £60m bid from Arsenal that may yet be increased.
Caicedo said on Instagram on Friday evening: ‘I am grateful to Mr. Bloom and Brighton for giving me the chance to come to the
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 has 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.’
It’s understood that Brighton laughed off Chelsea’s bid of £55million earlier this window, before rejecting Arsenal’s recent offer of £60m as they hold out for a fee of £80m if he is to leave before the deadline.
The player however is concerned he may not get the chance to join Arsenal or Chelsea in the summer, with the clubs set to go head-to-head for West Ham captain Declan Rice at the end of the season.
Sportsmail understands Caicedo has not ruled out putting in a transfer request to force a move, but Brighton are under no pressure to sell having allowed Leandro Trossard to join Arsenal for £21million last week.
Caicedo, who has 28 caps for his country, is under contract until 2025. He joined Brighton in 2021 for £4.5m from Independiente del Valle in his homeland.
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi, meanwhile, said of Caicedo: ‘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. In my opinion, that is the best solution for him and us.’
Speaking earlier this week, Caicedo echoed De Zerbi and insisted he was only concentrating on playing for Brighton and continuing their impressive season which sees them in sixth place.
He said: ‘I am focused on Brighton. I am here, I’m playing every day. Things from outside don’t trouble me, nor does it take that focus away, because I’m focused only on here.
‘I handle [the speculation] well. You hear rumours here and there, but I only try to be focused on the club where I am now, the club that opened the doors for me to be playing every week.’
The post was also shared on his Twitter account, and has accumulated over 150,000 likes across both platforms.
Caicedo is thought to have changed agents as recently as earlier this week.