Premier League • England

Arsenal preparing make or break bid to sign Moises Caicedo after Brighton star’s powerplay hands Liverpool unlikely lift

Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo

Arsenal will bid a second time as they seek to beat Chelsea to the signature of Moises Caicedo, while Brighton’s response to the midfielder’s antics have given Liverpool a timely lift.

The future of Moises Caicedo is poised to be one of the defining stories in the final days of the winter window. The Ecuador international, 21, has little more than half a season of Premier League football under his belt, though what he’s shown in that short span has got England’s elite hot and bothered.

Chelsea opened the bidding with a £55m offer. That was swiftly rejected by Brighton who later knocked back an Arsenal bid to the tune of £60m.

Brighton’s stance has and continues to remain Caicedo is not for sale, though that didn’t stop the player attempting to engineer a move.

Caicedo took to social media on Friday night when imploring the Seagulls to allow him to take up this “magnificent opportunity”. Caicedo also thanked Brighton for the opportunity they afforded him, though the club aren’t amused.

Brighton banish Caicedo in timely Liverpool lift

Fabrizio Romano was among many trusted sources to report Brighton have banished Caicedo from training until after the window closes. The British transfer deadline is 11pm on Tuesday, January 31.

As a result, Caicedo will not be considered for selection in Brighton’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

Given the state of Liverpool’s season thus far, Caicedo’s omission will be warmly received, especially after the 3-0 thumping in the league just a fortnight ago.

Romano added Arsenal are ‘expected to improve’ upon their initial £60m bid. Brighton value Caicedo around the £80m mark, though Ben Jacobs again stressed they do not want to sell. The CBS Sports guru reported Brighton have made their stance clear to Arsenal ‘directly’.

As such, and with time quickly running out, Arsenal’s next bid will have to be too good to refuse.

The spectre of Chelsea is also looming large. Todd Boehly has shown a willingness to spend big thus far, something Arsenal saw first-hand when seeing Mykhailo Mudryk poached from under their nose.

Adding to Arsenal’s endeavour is a worrying injury update regarding Thomas Partey.

The Ghanian was substituted early in the FA Cup defeat to Man City on Friday night. Arteta revealed Partey will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of an apparent rib injury that was getting “worse and worse” throughout the contest.

If Partey is sidelined for any length of time, Arsenal will be doubly determined to land a like-for-like superstar in Caicedo.

Whether they’re able to hold off Man City and secure their first league title since 2004 may well hinge on what happens in the window over the coming days.

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