Premier League • England

Chelsea quickly conjure up third offer for top target after would-be teammate reveals ‘he wants to come’

Chelsea-linked Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo

Chelsea-linked Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo

Chelsea have failed with a £70m offer for Moises Caicedo but will present Brighton with a third bid, reports have revealed, after Mauricio Pochettino and Marc Cucurella spoke about the midfielder.

Caicedo is the main midfielder Chelsea want to replenish their engine room after losing the likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount from their squad. The Blues have done plenty of business with Brighton in recent months and now want to take the Ecuador international into their setup.

Brighton renewed Caicedo’s contract until 2027 back in March, but privately accept they won’t be keeping hold of the 21-year-old for much longer.

Chelsea originally made a £60m offer for Caicedo last month, but have just returned to the table with an improved £70m bid. Like the first attempt, though, their advances have been rejected.

According to the Evening Standard, though, Chelsea are already plotting their third bid for Caicedo.

Brighton value their number 25 at around £100m, using the near-£107m fee Chelsea spent on Enzo Fernandez in January and Arsenal’s £105m investment in Declan Rice as benchmarks.

Nevertheless, the report suggests Chelsea think they can strike a compromise at £80m.

And the confidence that they can pick him up seems to be spreading through the club. Indeed, Marc Cucurella – who himself went from Brighton to Chelsea last year – has been speaking about the chances of Caicedo following him at the outset of the Blues’ pre-season tour in the USA.

“I think he wants to come here, I’ve read in the media lots of times,” Cucurella said at a press conference.

“I have a good relationship with him, he is a good midfielder and if he comes I think we have a top midfielder for a long time.”

Cucurella struggled to maintain his standards after his move from Brighton to Chelsea, ending up in last place on our ranking of Todd Boehly’s signings.

However, the left-back has confirmed he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge for a second season in which he could potentially reunite with Caicedo.

“For sure I want to stay at Chelsea,” Cucurella clarified. “I am very happy here.

“It was not an easy season. When you arrive at a big club you feel pressure and when the results don’t arrive you feel more pressure.

“This is part of the life and these things can happen and we learn to improve in the future.”

Pochettino pressed on Caicedo interest

In addition to Cucurella, Chelsea’s new head coach Mauricio Pochettino has spoken after their arrival in the USA.

While refusing to be drawn on a specific player like Caicedo, Pochettino responded to a question about the Brighton star by promising how hard Chelsea would be working on improving their squad.

Pochettino said: “All of the team are working very hard to get what we want.

“I don’t want to speak about specific names. Like us, many clubs are working to sign a player to improve their team.”

Pochettino will take charge of Chelsea for the first time with a friendly against Wrexham.

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