EPL

De Zerbi hopeful Brighton will keep Caicedo after Chelsea reportedly fail with £55m bid

By Sports Desk January 20, 2023

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi is hopeful Moises Caicedo will complete the season at the AMEX Stadium following Chelsea's bid for the midfielder.

The Blues reportedly saw a £55 million bid for the Ecuador international rejected on Thursday, with the Seagulls valuing the 21-year-old much higher and not willing to lose his services midway through the campaign.

While Chelsea could return with a fresh approach, having shown no limitations on splashing the cash since Todd Boehly's takeover ahead of the campaign, De Zerbi is hopeful the player will not push for an exit.

However, he admitted it will be difficult for Brighton to retain Caicedo's beyond the end of the campaign if he continues on his current track.

"Caicedo is very important for us, it's difficult to change now for another player inside the season. I hope he finishes the season with us," he told reporters ahead of the Premier League clash against Leicester City on Saturday.

"In the transfer market, it is always difficult to give one answer. When there are some bigger teams, they want the power player, it's good news for us. The best solution is he finishes the season with us and, next summer, it's then better to change team.

"I don't know if he will leave [at the end of the season] but if Caicedo continues to play like this, like the last few games, it's possible he can leave for another team."

De Zerbi says Brighton can cope without Leandro Trossard, who is closing in on a move to Arsenal.

"The situation was difficult, I understood he wanted to leave. I'm sorry for the last period because I prefer when people are clear, not when there are some differences, but we will see," the Italian said.

"I think we are a good team, we can play well with Leandro and without Leandro. I think in the transfer market, you can always improve, you can always buy new players.

"But we're at a good level now. The players in our squad are very good, and it's not so easy to improve this squad. I think the club, if there was a possibility to improve the squad, will do something."

Related items

  • Real Madrid captain Nacho to leave boyhood club Real Madrid captain Nacho to leave boyhood club

    Real Madrid have announced their captain, Nacho, is leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of the month.

    Nacho joined Madrid's youth academy in 2001 at 10 years old and is ending a 23-year association with his boyhood club.

    The defender made his debut in 2012, going on to make 364 appearances for the first team, winning 26 trophies, making him the joint-most decorated player in the team's history, along with Luka Modric.

    He captained Los Blancos to their 15th Champions League title in June, lifting the trophy for the sixth time himself. He also won five Club World Cups, four LaLiga titles and two Copa del Reys in his extensive haul.

    In a statement on social media, Nacho said: "Dear Madridistas. I want to dedicate a few words to you, which are too few to express everything I feel at this moment.

    "I am saying goodbye to the club of my life, Real Madrid. I arrived when I was 10 years old. I trained as a person and, as a player, I learned to win and to lose, to fight and to suffer, to enjoy, and to always live with enthusiasm and determination. I learned everything I am today. I have been coming to train in the same place every day for almost 25 years, which is an understatement, learning the values of Madridismo, giving my life and fighting for this crest: you have given me everything.

    "It's very difficult for me, but now it’s time to leave with the confidence and peace of mind of knowing that I have always given my best to represent this crest, on and off the pitch. When I was a boy, I often dreamed of playing in our stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu, and today I have the honour of ending my time as the captain who managed to lift our 15th Champions League.

    "There are no words to express my feelings. I always wanted my end as a Real Madrid player to be beautiful and at the top, and I can tell you that it is impossible to have a better one than this."

    Nacho, who is currently representing Spain at Euro 2024, is expected to move to the Saudi Pro League when his contract runs out, with Al-Qadsiah the favourites to sign him.

  • Spain 'free to dream' at Euro 2024 but must stay grounded, says De la Fuente Spain 'free to dream' at Euro 2024 but must stay grounded, says De la Fuente

    Spain are "free to dream" of Euro 2024 glory but must ensure they remain humble after maintaining a perfect record through the group stage, says coach Luis de la Fuente.

    La Roja topped Group B – thought by many to be the most difficult group at the tournament – with nine points and no goals conceded, beating Albania 1-0 in their third match on Monday despite resting most of their star players, courtesy of Ferran Torres' goal.

    They have become just the second team to win all three group-stage matches at a Euros tournament to nil, after eventual champions Italy at the delayed 2020 edition.

    It is also the first time La Roja have ever gone through an entire group stage at a major tournament (World Cup or Euros) without conceding. 

    With his team now being tipped as one of the favourites to lift the trophy for a record-breaking fourth time, De la Fuente has warned against complacency. 

    "We are all free to dream, but we have to keep our feet on the ground. Being considered favourites doesn't guarantee you anything," De la Fuente said.

    "We welcome the fact that people value the work we are doing and recognise the talent of this generation. Winning all three games, with clean sheets in all three, it's extremely difficult.

    "But let's not get carried away. We know how things work in Spain. One day you're at the top and the next day you're worthless."

    Spain's last-16 tie will be played at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne on Sunday, though they must wait to discover the identity of their opponents.

    They will face a third-place finisher from Group A, D, E or F, meaning their foes will not become clear until the final two groups have concluded on Wednesday.  

    That does not sit well with De la Fuente, who added: "Now we will have to spend a night awake because of the short time we have to study the next opponent. 

    "Of course we have room for improvement, it's a principle that we have established in the dressing room. We are not satisfied and this group is very ambitious.

    "But in any case, we'll be mentally prepared and ready to go all out to overcome this tie. Of course we will."

  • Rodriguez wants more from Colombia after opening win at Copa America Rodriguez wants more from Colombia after opening win at Copa America

    James Rodriguez sees plenty of room for improvement for Colombia despite overcoming Paraguay in their Copa America opener, in which he laid on two assists.

    Colombia sit top of Group D after the opening round of matches, with Crystal Palace duo Daniel Munoz and Jefferson Lerma netting in a 2-1 win in Houston and Brazil later failing to join them on three points as they drew 0-0 with Costa Rica.

    Former Real Madrid man Rodriguez teed up both of his team's goals, becoming the first player to assist twice in a Copa America group-stage match since Peru's Andre Carrillo in 2019 (versus Chile). Rodriguez now has 30 assists in 101 career games for his country, with five of those coming in the Copa America. 

    He also led all Colombia players for chances created (three), passes in the final third (17) and crosses (10), as well as ranking second for touches (80) and passes completed (53), both behind Davinson Sanchez (81, 55).

    The victory made them just the fourth CONMEBOL team to record nine straight wins across all competitions, after Brazil (12 times), Argentina (three) and Peru (once).

    However, Colombia did not have things all their own way as Paraguay attempted more shots (12 to 11) and created a higher expected goals figure (0.82 xG to 0.63), leading Rodriguez to call for more.

    "I am very happy, it was very important to start well today against a tough opponent like Paraguay," he told reporters after Monday's victory.

    "In the second half we could have done better, but things are corrected better when the team wins, it's all much easier."

    The NRG Stadium, home to the NFL's Houston Texans, was a sea of yellow for the game as Colombian fans packed into the venue, leaving Rodriguez awestruck. 

    "It's beautiful, they are supporting us a lot," he said of the huge Colombian contingent. "There is still a long way to go and we are going to go game by game."

    Colombia go to Phoenix for their second match against Costa Rica on Friday, before taking on Brazil next Tuesday at San Francisco's Levi's Stadium. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.