Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in January but the Seagulls had no plans to sanction his sale.
The Gunners were willing to pay up to £70 million for the Ecuador international but the south coast outfit were firm with their stance of keeping him.
Caicedo has since put pen-to-paper on an improved four-year deal with the Seagulls, but this has not necessarily ended speculation over his future.
Arsenal have obviously made their interest public with their winter pursuit, but there could be many more Premier League clubs in the mix to sign him.
Here are four top-flight clubs that Caicedo could join this summer.
The north London outfit were prepared to pay big money for Caicedo in January, just days after signing his teammate Leandro Trossard from Brighton.
They were unsuccessful with their ambitious bid but could come again this summer, considering Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka are entering the back end of their careers.
Caicedo may be only 21 but could be seen as an upgrade on the duo. He has already shown at Brighton that he can comfortably play in the holding or central midfield role.
The youngster has to improve with his goal contributions, but that should happen with more experience under his belt. He would be a perfect long-term acquisition for them.
The Seagulls could easily demand £100m for Caicedo this summer, but this should not derail the Gunners’ pursuit as they will have more funds with Champions League qualification.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has publicly confirmed that there will be funds for new signings in the summer transfer window. The priority could be given to the midfield department.
With the likes of Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson struggling to impress, Klopp may want a more robust and energetic midfielder in the centre of the park next season.
The Reds were touted to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham for some time, but they have cooled their interest after getting to know the hefty asking price of £132m.
By contrast, Caicedo could cost less, but the Reds may have to pay a nine-figure sum. Whether the hierarchy are prepared to cough up such a figure remains to be seen.
With the possibility of missing out on next season’s Champions League, the Reds could look elsewhere. Meanwhile, Caicedo may also want to play in Europe’s elite club competition.
The Blues have been on a spending rampage since their takeover by Clearlake Capital Group last summer.
There could be more funds at the disposal of the next manager, although the spending could be more constructive, having already brought several new faces into the first-team squad.
Enzo Fernandez has been a bright spark in the number six role since his British record transfer from Benfica in January, but the Blues may want to play him higher up the field.
This could revive their interest in Caicedo who was on their radar at the beginning of the year. The big question is whether the youngster would be guaranteed regular playing time.
If N’Golo Kante ends up penning a new deal, Caicedo could find himself on the bench. The lack of Champions League football will also hamper Chelsea’s chances of landing him.
The Red Devils had the opportunity to land Caicedo from Independiente del Valle for just £5m in January 2021, but their indecision contributed to Brighton beating them to his signature.
This has proved to be a costly mistake for them, considering how Caicedo has performed for the south coast outfit since making his Premier League debut under Graham Potter 12 months ago.
At present, United have a world-class defensive midfielder in Casemiro and the onus could be on landing a new number eight instead. Caicedo’s teammate Alexis Mac Allister could be a better buy for them.
However, we won’t be surprised if they make a big-money move for the youngster too. This could largely depend on the Glazers selling the club or securing minority investment this summer.
A marquee striker is the main priority for United at the moment, followed by a creative midfielder. They may also pursue another goalkeeper and right-back ahead of the 2023/24 season.
Arsenal will probably remain favourites to land the young midfielder when the transfer window reopens, but United can’t be ruled out of the race if there is fresh investment.
Caicedo could also stay with Brighton if they finish the season on a strong note and qualify for European football for the first time in their history. However, this would be a surprise.
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