Chelsea to lodge improved £70m-plus bid for Moises Caicedo this week

Chelsea to lodge improved £70m-plus bid for Moises Caicedo this week
Chelsea to lodge improved £70m-plus bid for Moises Caicedo this week

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Chelsea have previously seen a £60m bid rejected for their no1 midfield target, and there is concern Brighton will also dismiss this improved offer after turning down a similar sum from Arsenal during the January transfer window.

Brighton are holding out for £100m having benchmarked the fee against the £105m Arsenal paid to sign Declan Rice from West Ham.

Caicedo last week reiterated his desire to join Chelsea, telling Ecuadorian outlet TC Television: “It’s a big team, that’s true. A very historic team which I can’t say no [to joining] because it’s a very big, historic, beautiful team.

“The city as well is beautiful. It’s got everything beautiful.”

Chelsea’s co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart have been in contact with Brighton chiefs in recent weeks, feeding back regularly to new manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Pochettino has confirmed he is keen to “finish the squad” before the pre-season tour of the United States as he finds himself lacking in midfield talent after Chelsea’s recent fire sale.

N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all left west London in recent weeks as Chelsea raised over £230m by selling 11 players.

The exodus of talent could free up room for a second midfielder to join, with Chelsea weighing up bids for Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga and Southampton’s Romeo Lavia later in the transfer window.

Pochettino is also open to signing an additional striker and both Winstanley and Stewart have tested the market for options, but will first give opportunities to new signings Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson, alongside Armando Broja, who has returned from a serious knee injury sustained in December, during pre-season.

Chelsea face warm-up matches against Wrexham, Brighton, Fulham, Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund to decide is a fourth striking option is needed in a season without European football.

Romelu Lukaku has gone quiet on Inter Milan / Evening Standard

Romelu Lukaku, meanwhile, will not travel with Chelsea’s travelling squad and is now due back at Cobham on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old’s negotiations with Juventus saw rivals Inter Milan walk away from talks in fury over the weekend. They had both private and public encouragement from Lukaku that he wanted to remain in San Siro, with Inter pursuing a permanent transfer.

Juventus are now favourites having made a favourable £32m plus £2m in add-ons offer for Lukaku but it is conditional on the potential sale of striker Dusan Vlahovic.

Chelsea to lodge improved £70m-plus bid for Moises Caicedo this week

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