Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has suggested Moises Caicedo has made a “mistake” with his demand to leave the club – but did not rule out his transfer exit this week.
Caicedo appeared to bid farewell to the Seagulls on Friday night after posting a heartfelt message on his social media channels. Caicedo was subject of a £60million bid from Arsenal, but that was turned down by the south coast side. It now appears that the Ecuador international may be trying to force through an exit.
The 21-year-old is under contract with Brighton until June 2025 and they are under no financial pressure to sell. The Ecuador international is being chased by the Gunners and Chelsea, who have both seen bids rejected during the past few weeks. They are not willing to sell a player who cost £4.5million from Independiente del Valle in 2021 for below his asking price – a reported £90m – in the closing days of the window.
Caicedo thanked the Seagulls and owner Tony Bloom for handing him his chance in the Premier League. However, he insisted that the time is right for him to move on, bringing in a club-record sale for Brighton in the process.
The midfield ace was subsequently issued a stay-at-home warning by the club, as he was instructed not to return to training until the window closed. That means he is not part of De Zerbi’s squad to face Liverpool in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Speaking ahead of that game on the south coast, the Italian coach explained: “Moises is a good guy. We will see what happens tomorrow and the next day. We hope he stays with us until the end of the season, but this is a question of the club and Moises.”
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De Zerbi added: “In life you can make mistakes. There are many solutions for everyone and we will see the best solution for the club, for him and for us.”
The Seagulls currently sit sixth in the Premier League under De Zerbi. They are just five points behind fifth-placed Tottenham with two games in-hand. They have made a virtue of selling star players for huge profit margins in recent times without suffering adverse results on the pitch.
This summer saw the sales of Marc Cucurella and Yves Bissouma to Chelsea and Tottenham respectively, while Leandro Trossard joined Arsenal earlier this month – a year-and-a-half after Ben White left the Seagulls to join the North London club.