Chelsea are preparing their latest bid for Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, their top summer transfer target, and remain intent on signing him before the start of the league season.

Chelsea have had multiple bids rejected for Caicedo this summer, the latest of which is understood to have been worth £80 million, but have not given up hope of bringing the 21-year-old to Stamford Bridge.

Caicedo, who is valued at £100 million by Brighton, was not included in Roberto De Zerbi’s squad for their friendly match against Spanish side Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

The ongoing interest from Chelsea in Caicedo comes as Brighton edge closer to completing a club-record move for Ajax attacking midfielder Mohammed Kudus.

Kudus will cost in the region of around £35 million and his arrival, if a deal can be finalised, would mark the second time this summer that Brighton have broken their transfer record, after the £30 million deal for Joao Pedro was completed in June.

Chelsea have already completed the signing of one Brighton player this summer, having agreed to pay £25 million for Spanish goalkeeper Robert Sánchez.

Chelsea’s league campaign begins next Sunday when they host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, and Mauricio Pochettino’s squad remains short of midfield depth.

In their most recent friendly, against Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea started with a midfield trio of Enzo Fernández, Conor Gallagher and Carney Chukwuemeka. Of their back-up midfielders, none have ever played a match in the Premier League.

Chelsea have so far spent around £180 million on seven new players, including £52 million on striker Christopher Nkunku and £38.5 million on Monaco defender Axel Disasi.

They have generated more than £200 million in sales though, including the £65 million move that took Kai Havertz to Arsenal and the £55 million deal that took Mason Mount to Manchester United.