Brighton ‘ready’ to sell Caicedo as Arsenal given major green light

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Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi claims his team are “ready” to be without Moises Caicedo. Arsenal are hoping to sign the midfielder before Tuesday’s transfer deadline and have been given a potential green light for a deal.

Caicedo has emerged as the priority target for Arsenal in the closing stages of the January window. They have already seen an offer worth £60million turned down for the Ecuador international.

Brighton have maintained in recent days that Caicedo is not for sale at any price this month. However, his manager is not totally convinced he will remain at the club for the second half of the season.

The Seagulls beat Liverpool 2-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday. After the match, De Zerbi was asked about Caicedo’s future in his press conference.

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And he believes his team will be able to cope without the 21-year-old if he were to leave the club in the coming days. De Zerbi told reporters: “I would like him to finish the season with us, but we are ready to go forward without him.”

It is the first time anyone associated with Brighton has hinted that Caicedo could leave the club. Perhaps De Zerbi is right that Brighton can cope without Caicedo.

The Italian selected Pascal Gross in a deeper role alongside Alexis Mac Allister on Sunday in the Ecuador star’s absence. The game looked set to be heading for a replay before Kaoru Mitoma popped up with the winner in second-half stoppage time to send holders Liverpool out.

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Arsenal have just over 48 hours to offer a fee Brighton find acceptable for Caicedo. He has played just 31 times in total for Brighton since joining the club from Independiente del Valle in 2021 but his performances have caught the eye of England’s top clubs.

Chelsea hold an interest in Caicedo and had an offer of £55m turned down earlier in the window. Arsenal’s need for a midfielder has been strengthened by concerns Mohamed Elneny could miss the rest of the season with a knee injury picked up in training.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has stated on more than one occasion that he would like to bring in a midfielder before the deadline. Thomas Partey also suffered a rib injury in the FA Cup loss to Manchester City on Friday but early indications are that the issue is not serious.

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