The latest Chelsea move is Moises Caicedo, according to Roberto De Zerbi, the manager of Brighton.
The future of Moises Caicedo has been further clarified by Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi, who may have even taken a shot at Chelsea. Talk about Caicedo, who has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, predominated the Italian’s press conference before playing Chelsea.
One of the key talking points was De Zerbi’s unequivocal denial of Caicedo’s claims that he had a deal with Brighton that allowed him to leave the club in the summer after signing a new contract.
“No it’s not true because I am coach, not owner, coach, not sporting director,” De Zerbi said. “Believe me, it is difficult to be a coach. In my work, I am used to speaking with my players every day, for every question, every part of life, not only football. But I didn’t give my word for nothing.
“We didn’t speak about the next transfer market window and for me, he is a player like the others. OK, we are Brighton and I can understand we have to sell any player at the end of the season like Mac Allister. But at the moment, I have not received news that Caicedo can leave tomorrow or in the next week. I start the next season with Caicedo in my head in the first 11, for sure.”
Having only just returned to pre-season training with Brighton earlier this week, Caicedo was left out of the squad to face Chelsea in the Premier League Summer Series. The Blues went on to win the contest 4-3 after the Seagulls had to play the final half hour with ten men.
With both parties on either side of the transfer currently in close proximity, face-to-face talks for Caicedo have been planned which will see the likes of Paul Winstanley, Laurence Stewart and Behdad Eghbali meet with senior officials from Brighton.
However, progress being made still appears unlikely because of the £20million gap in valuation from each club. Chelsea’s latest offer was worth £70million but are of the belief increasing that to £80million can get the deal done, however Brighton are still adamant they want triple figures.
Some more comments from De Zerbi’s press day have since come to light, and while he repeats much of what has already been said, there is a sly dig at Chelsea which perhaps hints at his frustration with having to constantly answer questions about Caicedo.
As quoted by CBS reporter Ben Jacobs, he said: “It’s a clear situation at the moment. He stays with us until my owner changes his mind. I don’t know what can happen in the future, but if Moises leaves we have to find the right player because it’s difficult to replace a player as good as Moises.
“We have to substitute him with a great player because this year we play in the Europa League unlike Chelsea.” On if there is any point in trying to keep him if he wants to leave, De Zerbi added: “You have to speak with Tony [Bloom] not with me [to see] if he wants to leave. He extended his contract in February and now we are in July, so after five months I don’t know if he can change his idea.”