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Arsenal £60M Moises Caicedo bid rejected by Brighton & Hove Albion

Well that was a quick asked and answered.

Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Brighton & Hove Albion rejected a £60M Arsenal bid for midfielder Moises Caicedo, per multiple reports. The rejection comes quickly on the heels of the Seagulls rebuffing a £55M bid from Chelsea as well. Brighton maintain that the Ecuadorian midfielder is not for sale in the January transfer window. And while everybody has a price, Brighton’s position is understandable — Caicedo is a key piece on their currently 6th place squad.

The rejected bid is a clear statement of intent from Arsenal that the club is not done in the transfer window and is serious about strengthening the squad even further for a title battle. It remains to be seen whether the Gunners will come back to Brighton with another offer. The £60M bid was a clean one with no add-ons. Fabrizio Romano suggested Edu and Mikel Arteta might come back with another bid sweetened by add-ons. Other reports say it might take as much as £80M to tempt the Seagulls into selling.

£80M feels far too much for the 21-year old defensive midfielder, but hey, it’s not my money. As yet, there is no reporting that Arsenal would even come close to that number, just that it might be what it takes to move Brighton off their “he’s not for sale” stance. The Gunners are reportedly interested in Everton’s Amadou Onana, who was linked with a move to North London in the summer, as an alternative option to strengthen the midfield. Onana, however, isn’t a true six like Caicedo is.

Arsenal’s pursuit of midfield reinforcements in the January transfer window, be it Caicedo or Onana, reportedly does not affect their interest in a big summer window move for Declan Rice. Of course, that’s what you’re supposed to say regardless of whether it’s true. But it’s encouraging that the squad seems interested in building meaningful, talented depth up and down the formation, not just a top-heavy side with naught for backups.