Brighton have rejected a second offer from Arsenal (Pictures: Getty)
Brighton have rejected Arsenal’s second bid for Moises Caicedo, with the Gunners now considering making a club-record offer for the midfielder.
Mikel Arteta is keen to bolster his squad before the January transfer window closes despite taking Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table.
Ecuador international Caicedo has emerged as a late target for the Premier League leaders, who saw an opening offer worth £60m knocked back last week.
Arsenal approached Brighton with a new and improved £70m offer on Sunday but that bid was ‘immediately rejected’ too, according to Fabrizio Romano.
With the January transfer window set to shut on Tuesday night, Arsenal are now considering whether to make a club-record bid for Caicedo, who handed in a transfer request earlier in the week.
With Brighton playing hardball, Arsenal will need to pay more than the £72m they spent on club-record signing Nicolas Pepe if they have any hope of luring Caicedo to the Emirates.
Chelsea have also been linked with a move for Caicedo since former Brighton boss Graham Potter replaced Thomas Tuchel in the Stamford Bridge hot-seat.
Mikel Arteta is keen to bring Caicedo to the Emirates (Picture: Getty)
The Blues continue to monitor the situation but owner Todd Boehly – who has spent more than £400m on new signings since purchasing the club – appears to be prioritising a move for Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
Caicedo has emerged as one of Brighton’s most important players over the last two seasons, with his form attracting interest from a number of top clubs.
The 21-year-old has confirmed he wants to be sold by Brighton to be given the ‘magnificent opportunity’ to join a bigger club.
If he completes a move to Arsenal, he would join a team sitting five points clear at the top of the Premier League, with 50 points from a possible 57 this season.
While the appeal of joining Arsenal and Chelsea is clear to see, Caicedo has been labelled ‘disrespectful’ for the manner of his request to leave Brighton.
‘You have to do what Brighton have done, ban him from coming into the training ground,’ former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara told Sky Sports. I think it’s really poor from him. He has been badly advised.
‘As a football player, Arsenal are supposedly in for him, it’s a big-money move and the opportunity to play for a huge football club.
‘But it’s so disrespectful to Brighton, it’s not like he is in a League One or Championship team.
‘He is playing for Brighton, who are flying, by the way, and playing really good football, with brilliant fans. They have given him the opportunity.
‘So, for him to come out and say he wants to leave. The deal isn’t even done, it’s probably not anywhere near being done. For him to come out and say that, I think it’s poor as a player, not professional.’
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January transfer window – FAQs
The Gunners are determined to sign Caicedo before the transfer deadline.