Chelsea planning new improved offer to lure Brighton midfielder at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea are reportedly ready to come forward with a new offer for Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo.

The Ecuador international has been a standout performer for Roberto De Zerbi’s European chasers this term and is being linked with a move to a Champions League-competing club.

The likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have been tipped to battle for the signature of Caicedo, who is contracted to the Seagulls until 2025.

Chelsea are already believed to have tabled a £55m bid for the 21-year-old, which was swiftly turned down by Brighton, but The Mirror claims that a fresh offer is being prepared.

The report states that Graham Potter’s big-spending side are now preparing an offer closer to £65m for the midfielder, although Brighton are said to value him closer to £75m.

Newcastle United are also believed to be admirers of Caicedo, and De Zerbi has refused to rule out an exit for the highly-rated South American in the future.

“The mentality of Moises is amazing. He doesn’t need something more. To know that big teams in Europe want him isn’t a problem for him,” De Zerbi told reporters earlier this week.

“He’s 21 but like me, 43, because he’s a good guy, a smart guy, mature guy. He’s a very important player, a strong player, a big player.

“I think he can become one of the best midfielders in Europe. For me he is now, but in the next two years for sure, because he’s technical but he, strong, physical. He’s complete.

“But the question about whether we sell our big players is not for me, it’s for our owner. The problem is not to sell. The problem is to buy the new players with the same level or the same potential as the ones you sell. For the moment I think the club is working well in terms of scouting for new players.”

Caicedo has recorded one goal and one assist from 17 Premier League matches in the 2022-23 season, taking his total for the club to two goals and three assists from 30 outings in all tournaments.

Chelsea have already brought in Mykhaylo Mudryk, David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile and Andrey Santos on permanent deals this month, as well as capturing Joao Felix on loan.

However, Potter’s side still struggled for attacking inspiration in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield, which ended in a drab goalless stalemate.

The Blues therefore remain 10th in the standings before renewing hostilities with Fulham – who secured a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage earlier this month – on February 3.