Premier League • England

Moises Caicedo latest: Mikel Areta firm over Arsenal transfer intentions as Thomas Partey fears deepen and Brighton star begs for move

Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo

Mikel Arteta has strongly indicated Arsenal plan to launch a new and improved offer to sign Moises Caicedo after confirming Thomas Partey will need to undergo a scan to determine the extent of an injury in the ribs area.

The Gunners have genuine hopes of ending their 19-year title drought this season with Mikel Arteta’s side five point clear at the top. And while they also boast a game in hand over Manchester City, they can not afford too many slip ups if they are to hold them off.

To maximise their chances, Arsenal have strengthened their squad with two new additions this month. Firstly, Leandro Trossard has arrived from Brighton to boost their attack. Making his first start at Man City in the FA Cup on Friday night, the Belgian looked lively and should prove a good addition for the Gunners.

They have also signed Polish defender Jakub Kiwior from Spezia to add more strength in depth.

But it is in midfield where Arteta is now most in need of reinforcements. Indeed, while Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey have been mainstays of their side, they do lack quality cover and competition. That point was reinforced on Friday night when Albert Sambi Lokonga stepped off the bench at the Etihad – and immediately came under fire from a savage Roy Keane.

The Belgian, signed in a £17.2m deal from Anderlecht in summer 2021, has rarely featured this season. That is, in part down to the excellent form shown by Partey and Xhaka.

But it is also down to the fact that Arteta does not truly trust those like Lokonga who he can fall back on.

Arsenal make clear plan to bid again for Moises Caicedo

And with Partey suffering an injury at Man City and being forced off at half-time, the Gunners will now send him for a scan.

Losing Partey for any period of time would be a cruel blow for Arsenal in their title quest.

But it also strengthens Arteta’s need to bring in more quality with the window due to close on Tuesday night.

With that in mind, Arsenal will try again to sign Caicedo. Having seen an opening offer of £60m rejected, the Gunners are now ready to make an improved bid.

Making their intentions clear and providing an update on Partey, Arteta now expects a crucial few days ahead.

“He had some discomfort and it was getting worse and worse,” Arteta said of Partey after the FA Cup exit at Man City.

“He was uncomfortable to continue. (Saturday) or the day after he will have an MRI scan and see what he has.

“We have at the moment the injury of Mo (Elneny). It is not possible to get him fit. Sambi has come in and has done well. It is true Thomas is a big influence and a big personality and in the second half we didn’t have him.”

Turning his attention towards the transfer market, Arteta has made it clear they want another player in.

And while not naming the Brighton player by name, he has made Arsenal’s intentions clear.

“We have some necessities and if something else is available, the club is willing to try to do it when it is reasonable and hopefully it’s a player that can improve our squad,” he said.

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Caicedo begging to leave Brighton

With Arsenal’s opening offer of £60m rejected by Brighton, the Gunners may have to go as high as £80m to land the Ecuadorian.

However, an interesting few days lie ahead with the player making clear his intentions to move on.

Begging to make the move, Caicedo has thanked Brighton for his chance but confirms he wants to take his game to a higher level.

‘I’m grateful to Mr Bloom and Brighton for giving me the chance to come to the Premier League and I feel I have always done my best for them. I always play football with a smile and with heart,’ he wrote on social media.

‘I am the youngest of 10 siblings form a poor upbringing in Santa Domingo in Ecuador. My dream always to be the most decorated player in the history of Ecuador.

‘I am proud to be able to bring in a record transfer fee for Brighton which would allow them to reinvest it and help the club continue to be successful.

‘The fans have taken me into their hearts and they will always be in my heart. So I hope they can understand why I want to take up this magnificent opportunity.’

With Arteta ready to make another push and with Caicedo making clear his wish to leave, Arsenal will wait to see how Brighton respond.

But if Arsenal get their way, then a second signing of the month from the Seagulls – after Trossard – may well on the cards.

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