Moises Caicedo transfer news: Will Brighton player join Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United?

Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo is the subject of a three-way transfer battle between Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal - so where should he end up?
Caicedo is a wanted man among top English clubs (Image- Sussex Express)
Caicedo is a wanted man among top English clubs (Image- Sussex Express)

In Moises Caicedo transfer news, the 21-year-old Ecuador international has become one of the most highly rated players in his role in the Premier League, helping Albion to qualify for next season's Europa League.

How did Caicedo do last season?

Caicedo joined Albion from Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle for a reported £4.5m in February 2021 but did not play that season.

He spent the first half of the 2021-22 season on loan with Beerschot in Belgium before being recalled in January because of injuries to other Albion midfielders.

He made his Premier League debut in April 2022 and a year and 26 appearances after his return to England, Brighton rejected a £70m bid from Arsenal.

Caicedo, who informed Brighton in an open letter he wanted to leave but then signed a new deal afterwards, has played 53 times for the club in all competitions, scoring twice.

He is a central midfielder by trade, who played further back in a holding midfielder role when Roberto de Zerbi replaced Graham Potter as manager last September, and also featured at right-back on a handful of occasions.

Caicedo ranked highly among Premier League players in several metrics last season.

His 100 tackles was below only Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha, while only West Ham's Declan Rice made more interceptions than Caicedo's 56.

Only Manchester City's Rodri and Rice made more interceptions in the middle third of the pitch than Caicedo's 142.

He ranked seventh for passes (2209), sixth for successful passes (1961) and eighth for touches (2735).

"I think that can be the last game of Alexis [Mac Allister] and Moises, I'm really sorry," said De Zerbi after Brighton's final game of the season.

"They can play in every competition and are ready to compete for a big team and I hope for them they can play in the best team in the world."

Mac Allister has since joined Liverpool. It feels unlikely, but not impossible Caicedo stays at Brighton – they will need a bigger squad now they are in Europe.

Could Arsenal sign Caicedo and Rice?

In Moises Caicedo transfer news, the Ecuadorian looked set to join Arsenal, who were challenging for the title, in January but Brighton held firm because they wanted to boost their own European ambitions. In fact in April he said he had been "really close" to joining the Gunners.

He is one of two of the Premier League's top defensive midfielders who Arsenal are chasing – along with West Ham's Rice. They are competing with champions Manchester City for the England international.

They are also close to signing Chelsea's attacking midfielder Kai Havertz for £65m.

"Although Rice is a big target for Arsenal, the signing of him should it go through would not end the interest in Caicedo," says BBC Sport reporter Alex Howell.

"The Ecuadorian ended the season occasionally playing at right-back for the Seagulls before moving into midfield and would give Arteta another option.

"Oleksandr Zinchenko did it well for the team from left-back as they finished second in the Premier League.

"With Havertz looking likely to sign, Rice if completed, and Martin Odegaard as midfield options, that position could be a way for Arteta to include all of his potential new signings."

Thomas Partey and Jorginho were Arsenal's defensive midfielders last season.

Can Caicedo join new-look Chelsea midfield?

Chelsea also tried to sign Caicedo in January, reportedly having a bid of £55m rejected, when Potter – the manager who brought him to England – was in charge according to Fabrizio Romano.

There are a lot of midfield changes going on at Stamford Bridge this summer under new boss Mauricio Pochettino.

They are set to sell Mateo Kovacic to Manchester City for £30m, N'Golo Kante is leaving for Al-Ittihad as a free agent, Denis Zakaria's loan spell from Juventus is over and Ruben Loftus-Cheek is close to joining AC Milan.

Attacking midfielder Havertz is close to joining Arsenal, while Manchester United are trying to sign Mason Mount.

Howell says Potter and his backroom staff were "blown away" by Caicedo when he signed for Brighton at the age of 19.

"With Kovacic and Kante leaving and Mount the subject of long-term interest from Manchester United, Caicedo could be the ready-made Premier League quality player the Blues need to come in," Howell added.

Caicedo would feature alongside £107m record British signing Enzo Fernandez if he did join Pochettino's side.

Mount or Caicedo for Man Utd?

In other Moises Caicedo transfer news, United could make a move for Caicedo if they fail with their £55m bid for England's Mount from Chelsea.

It appears as if they will only try to sign one of them – even though Mount plays a lot further forward than Caicedo.

"As Casemiro proved himself to be far more than that in his debut season, Caicedo is someone who can go into the engine room of a Premier League midfield and get United moving forward in a way Fred and Scott McTominay tried and failed to do and Christian Eriksen patently can't," said BBC reporter Simon Stone.

"It is interesting United are looking at him as an alternative to Mason Mount as the Chelsea man is clearly far more of a goalscoring threat and more elusive with the ball at his feet.

"However, if Caicedo did make the Old Trafford switch it would release Eriksen to move further forward, something many United fans feel that club should have been looking at in the first place."

Former Premier League midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Caicedo is the one that fits in what they need in the midfield. He is a way better version of Fred in terms of football intelligence, energy, ability to see danger and be very defensive-minded.

"Caicedo is what Manchester United need more so than a Mason Mount."

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