Roberto De Zerbi has admitted that Arsenal-linked Moises Caicedo may have played his last game for Brighton, as he deserves a step up.
Brighton stood firm against various bids for Moises Caicedo in the January transfer window, awarding the midfielder a new contract afterwards.
But after their final game of the season on Sunday, manager Roberto De Zerbi has suggested Brighton could now sell the 21-year-old.
“We are Brighton and our policy is to help the young players to progress, we can’t keep our best players. That is right, it is our mentality and we have to find more young players.”
Recent reports suggested Caicedo is one of Arsenal’s alternative signings if they fail to land priority target Declan Rice, with the Gunners pushing hard to sign him from West Ham United.
Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi, Wolves’ Ruben Neves, and Caicedo are all reportedly in the running for a move if Rice goes elsewhere.
Arsenal reportedly held talks with Zubimendi in January, but he didn’t want to leave Sociedad mid-season.
Wolves want £45m for Neves, who is keen to play Champions League football, though they’d rather sell abroad.
As for Caicedo, we’re all well aware of the moves Arsenal made to sign the midfielder in the January transfer window, and this isn’t the first time De Zerbi has admitted Brighton could lose him this summer.
Fabrizio Romano reports that Arsenal are “still there” for Caicedo, and whilst Chelsea also have him on their list, they may end up moving for Sporting CP’s Manuel Ugarte instead.
Caicedo recently admitted his regrets at a bad challenge on Gabriel Martinelli, who picked up an ankle issue in a challenge by the Brighton man.
Arsenal Head of Medical Services Gary O’Driscoll called the challenge a “terrible foul”, and Caicedo didn’t deny it.
Writing on Twitter, Caicedo said: “If I could turn back time I wouldn’t have made that bad tackle.”