Chelsea and Caicedo confusion as Brighton tight-lipped on 'confidential' bid

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Moises Caicedo is wanted by Chelsea (Image: Getty Images)
Moises Caicedo is wanted by Chelsea (Image: Getty Images)

Brighton have received an offer worth more than £80million for star midfielder Moises Caicedo... but they are refusing to say from who.

Chelsea are trying to sign the Ecuador international, 21, from the Seagulls this summer after a breakthrough campaign. He played 37 Premier League games last season and was part of his country's squad for the World Cup in Qatar, scoring against Senegal.

Brighton have already rejected several bids from Chelsea for Caicedo, including their most recent offer of £80m. Yet the Seagulls are now thought to have received a bid in excess of that amount. The only snag is they haven't named the bidder, with it being reported that Brighton are keeping it "confidential" for now. It's believed it could be a club in Saudi Arabia.

Brighton want around £100m for Caicedo, who signed a new contract in March to keep him at the Amex until June 2027. Clubs chiefs don't want to sell the youngster on the cheap after witnessing Declan Rice complete a £105m move to Arsenal last month.

As reported by multiple outlets, including the Daily Express, Brighton have received their biggest offer for Caicedo to date but haven't disclosed who it's from. The anonymous club is not Chelsea - leading to more competition for the Blues - nor is it Liverpool.

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According to Sky Sports News, the bidding club is an unnamed one in Saudi Arabia.

It's unclear whether Chelsea will end up paying nine figures for Caicedo. They spent most of the previous transfer window trying to negotiate a smaller fee for Enzo Fernandez, only to give in to Benfica's demands at the 11th hour and pay £106m.

Yet Chelsea might cool their interest in Caicedo and move for Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia. The Saints, who were relegated to the Championship last season, have slapped a £50m price tag on the Belgium international, 19.

Chelsea and Caicedo confusion as Brighton tight-lipped on 'confidential' bidMauricio Pochettino's side might have to cool their interest in Caicedo (Getty Images)

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Liverpool have already seen two bids of £37m and £41m rejected for Lavia. Southampton are determined not to sell him on the cheap after paying Manchester City £10.5m for his services a year ago. They also owe City 20 per cent of any future sale.

Brighton captain Lewis Dunk has urged Caicedo to reject a summer transfer and remain part of Roberto De Zerbi's squad. The Seagulls will compete in the Europa League this season after finishing sixth in the Premier League last time out.

"He is a young man, learning the game and it's a difficult situation to be in," Dunk told the BBC. "As his captain, I couldn’t ask any more of him this pre-season. He has stuck in there, kept his head right, trained hard and played the game.

"I want him to stay. It's a massive advantage having him in the team. Having him in front of me makes my life so much easier. Hopefully he can stick around and we can hold on to him for another year. He will make us stronger. We are a stronger team with him in it."

Dunk has also praised Caicedo for dealing with the transfer speculation "in the right way". He added: "I hope he stays, but who knows what can happen?"

Tom Blow

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