Brighton boss Moises Caicedo has sent a message after Arsenal rejected a huge transfer offer

Arsenal made a £60m bid for Moises Caicedo but was turned down as Brighton made it clear they did not want to sell him this month – with manager Roberto De Zerbi explaining to the Ecuadorian the reasons for the club’s decision

Moises Caicedo has attracted offers from Arsenal and Chelsea this window

Brighton have told Arsenal Moises Caicedo is not for sale after rejecting a £60 million bid.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is looking to strengthen his squad after losing Mohamed Elneny to injury and is sorely lacking in midfield options. They have put forward plans this summer to buy a midfielder and make a move for the Ecuador international to boost their Premier League title push.

Chelsea also turned down a £55m bid and Arsenal may come back with a higher bid but Brighton are adamant they will not sell him in this window. Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi said: “I spoke to him like a father, not like a coach.

“I hope he can stay with us until the end of the season because for my idea and I think it is the best solution for him and for us.”

Caicedo may be pushing for a move despite insisting earlier in the week that he is “focused” on staying at Brighton despite the transfer link following his World Cup performances.

Arsenal have Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in their first-choice midfield but that is the biggest area of concern for Arteta. They are also interested in West Ham’s Declan Rice for the summer but want Caicedo now – but Brighton are not looking to sell him.

Arsenal bought Leandro Trossard from Brighton for a discounted £27m and also signed Poland defender Jakub Kiwior for £19m. They also want to do a deal for Ivan Fresneda from Real Valladolid with a deal that includes a loan back option.

Caicedo addressed the rumors earlier this week, Ecuador saying: “I’m focused on Brighton. “I’m here, I play every day. Outside things don’t distract me, nor do they take away from that focus because I’m only focused here.

“I’m handling (speculation) well. You hear rumors here and there, but I’m just trying to focus on the club where I’m at now, the club that opens doors for me to play every week.”

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