Arsenal are considering walking away from a deal to sign Moises Caicedo after their improved offer for the Brighton midfielder was rejected.
The Gunners saw a £60million bid knocked back but the Seagulls on Friday, putting a £70million deal on the table late on Sunday which was also rejected.
Caicedo underlined his desire to leave the club and join the Premier League leaders in a statement released on social media shortly after Arsenal’s opening bid with Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi suggesting the club are ‘ready to go forward’ without the Ecuador international.
Milkel Arteta is desperate to add another midfielder to his ranks following an injury to Mohamed Elneny. But according to , Arsenal could now shelve their interest in the Brighton star after their latest offer was turned away.
Brighton have demanded a huge £90m fee for the 21-year-old who has played just 26 games in the Premier League but is already regarded as one of the best young talents in the country.
Caicedo was left out of the squad that beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup on Sunday with the player not training with his teammates since releasing his statement on social media on Friday evening.
He is not expected to return to training until after the transfer window closes on Tuesday with his manager unsure whether he will still be part of the squad when they take on Bournemouth on Saturday.
‘Caicedo is a very, very good guy,’ De Zerbi said after the 2-1 win over Jurgen Klopp’s side. ‘I can understand him because when you are 21, and you receive the request of a big, big team that are playing in Europe, I can understand.
‘I would like that he can finish the season with us but we are ready to go forward without him.
‘I think we need some players in some positions.
‘I spoke a lot of time with Tony (Bloom) he knows very well my opinion because we are a good team but we can improve also from the transfer market.
‘We lost Trossard, if we lose also Caicedo it can be a problem for us. If we want to fight for Europe, or the maximum on the table.
‘If we want to stay like this (at our current level), we can. But I don’t like.’
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