Arsenal agree club-record deal to sign Chelsea target: Reports

Arsenal have apparently beaten Chelsea in the race for Declan Rice.
Arsenal have apparently beaten Chelsea in the race for Declan Rice.

Arsenal have had a club-record bid for Chelsea target Moises Caicedo accepted by Brighton & Hove Albion, as per journalist Jacque Talbot.

The Gunners and the Blues have been locked in a transfer battle for the Ecuador international in recent weeks. Caicedo arrived on the south coast of England in February 2021, when Brighton paid a fee of £4.5 million to sign him from Independiente del Valle.

He managed to make a solitary senior appearance for the English club before being loaned out to Belgian side Beerschot V.A. for the first half of the 2021-22 campaign. Since his return to the Amex, he has exploded onto the English football scene.

The combative defensive midfielder has registered two goals and three assists in 30 senior appearances across competitions since returning from Belgium. He has played in all but one of his team's 19 league games this season as they sit sixth in the table.

It’s my understanding Arsenal have lodged a third bid for Moisés Caicedo, a club-record. Huge single payment as one lump sum. Deal’s been agreed.…

These performances have been enough to attract the attention of Arsenal and Chelsea. As per Football.London, the Gunners recently had their second bid, believed to be in the region of £70 million, rejected by the Seagulls.

The first offer was apparently around £60 million. Despite consecutive setbacks, they reportedly lodged a third, club-record bid for the 21-year-old midfielder.

According to Talbot, the offer has been accepted by Brighton, who have already seen Leandro Trossard make a permanent switch to the Emirates earlier this month.

Currently, the £72 million paid to LOSC Lille for Nicolas Pepe in 2019 is Arsenal's record outlay on a player. Caicedo could overtake that record if he joins the Emirates later today before the 31 January transfer deadline.

Arsenal boss wants to sign Declan Rice even if he signs Chelsea target Moises Caicedo - Reports

According to the Sun (h/t Metro), manager Mikel Arteta has made it clear that he wants to bring West Ham United captain Declan Rice to Arsenal.

Moises Caicedo's potential arrival in January will apparently have no impact on the Spanish tactician's stance. Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are currently his first-choice options in defensive midfield, but Arteta is devoid of any quality cover in that area.

Mohamed Elneny, who could leave as a free agent this summer, is currently injured. Hence, a double move for Caicedo and Rice, albeit expensive, could bolster Arteta's midfield for years to come.

The 24-year-old defensive midfielder, who was released by Chelsea's youth academy in the summer of 2013, has started all 20 league games for the Hammers this term.

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Edited by Aniket Rai
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