Brighton CEO addresses Moises Caicedo confusion as Chelsea consider alternatives

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Brighton CEO Paul Barber has confirmed that Moises Caicedo missed the Seagulls’ pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano due to a hamstring strain. The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge this summer as Chelsea look to further bolster their midfield options. understands that the Blues have already had three bids for Caicedo rejected, but they remain confident they can secure his signature. It’s believed that Brighton are determined to keep the Ecuador international unless their £100million valuation is met.

While the west Londoners continue to negotiate a fee with Brighton, ** understands that Caicedo has verbally agreed personal terms over a potential transfer – but nothing has been signed yet. As talks prolong with the new Premier League season just around the corner, Chelsea have begun to broaden their search for an alternative defensive midfielder.

Interestingly, no more than a day or so after the Blues identified Tyler Adams as a potential target, Roberto De Zerbi reignited speculation that Caicedo could leave Brighton after all. The Ecuadorian was strangely omitted from the Brighton side to play their final pre-season game.

It was later revealed that he may have picked up a knock, which has now been confirmed by the Seagulls chief. As quoted by Ben Jacobs, Barber said: “Moises had a slight hamstring injury late in training and was pulled out for that reason.

“With a Premier League season just a week away it makes no sense to risk him today. We’re looking forward to Moises starting the season with us, he’s a Brighton player under a long-term contract. He’s probably one of the most exciting young midfield players in the world at the moment and we’re delighted to have him.”

Speaking on talkSPORT earlier this summer, Tony Cascarino claimed claimed that the Brighton ace would be ‘one of the signings of the summer’ if the Blues signed him.

READ MORE:Chelsea news and transfers LIVE: ‘Deal agreed’, Moises Caicedo hint, Reece James bid, Mbappe talks

“Caicedo fits the bill. He allows Enzo Fernandez to play higher up the pitch, which I think is best suited,” said the 60-year-old. “It’s the [Claude] Makelele role, it’s the [N’Golo] Kante role that he can do.

“He’s such a great athlete. He gets around the pitch, robs the ball off the opposition all the time, and he sets the play up. I think it will be one of the best signings of the summer if they can get that one over the line.”

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