Arteta says Arsenal believe they can go all the way in title race
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has already experienced the “inconvenience” caused by missing out on Moises Caicedo in January, but it appears he is ready to endure it all once again as attempts to sign the Brighton star in the summer transfer window. Even in the midst of their Premier League title challenge, Arteta has one eye on the future and is understood to view Caicedo as an important part of his plans.
On transfer deadline day back in January, Arsenal had three bids turned down for the Ecuadorian ace, with their best offer believed to have been around £75million. Brighton held out for £90m and, as the clock ticked down towards the 11pm deadline, the Gunners made a surprise move to snatch Jorginho from rivals Chelsea in a cut-price £12m deal.
But signing the Italian, 31, was regarded as a short-term solution to a long-term problem and merely a case of papering over the cracks with concerns over Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny’s fitness. It always felt that Arteta would revisit the idea of capturing Caicedo in the summer and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, via CaughtOffside, has suggested that remains the case while other top clubs will also be in for him.
The Spaniard recently opened up on his frustration of missing out on his top target and hinted that Jorginho’s arrival was their ‘Plan B’ after Arsenal were forced to be “flexible” with their transfer plans.
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“We knew that in this market you have to adapt and be flexible and ready for inconvenience,” Arteta said in February at a news conference. “We had a big one with Mo [Elneny] and we needed a player in that position. [Jorginho is] a great character who will bring leadership and quality in that position.”
After missing out on his big-money transfer, Caicedo penned a new long-term contract in March that keeps him at the club until 2027, with an option of a further year. That will complicate negotiations from Arsenal’s standpoint as Brighton have no urgent need to sell, but it may not be enough to intimidate the north London side into backing down.
The central midfielder has already tried to force through a move once, declaring on his Instagram page that he was desperate to leave the Amex Stadium. And his comments before playing in the World Cup with Ecuador suggested he had his sights set on a ‘dream’ move, name-checking Chelsea on that occasion.
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“Right now I’m very focused on Brighton and the World Cup. I want to have a great World Cup and then we’ll see what happens,” he told Argentinian outlet Ole back in December.
“I think they are one of the best teams in the world and no one would turn down an offer from Chelsea or any other club like that. It is a dream to be in the best teams in the world and succeed there.”
But right now, Arsenal are the more attractive proposition as they lead the Premier League and have space for Caicedo while Chelsea need to sell rather than buy players this summer.
Judging by Arteta’s comments, it could prove to be another difficult summer if they do pursue Caicedo again, but after convincing Brighton to sell Ben White and Leandro Trossard in the past, a third deal is not out of the question.
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