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"The fans will always be in my heart": Moises Caicedo reveals wish to leave Brighton following rejected £60m bid from Arsenal
The 21-year-old joined the Seagulls in the summer of 2021 and has been a key part of the South Coast club's rise to sixth in the Premier League this season, attracting interest from both the Gunners and Chelsea.
Moises Caicedo has underlined his desire to leave Brighton this month following Arsenal's rejected £60m bid for the player.
In a lengthy statement posted on his social media accounts, the Ecuador international said: "I am grateful to [chairman] Mr. [Tony] Bloom and Brighton for giving me the chance to come to the Premier League and I feel I have always done my best for them.
"I always play football with a smile and with heart. I am the youngest of 10 siblings from a poor upbringing in Santa Domingo in Ecuador.
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"My dream [has] always [been] to be the most decorated player in the history of Ecuador.
"I am proud to be able to bring in a record transfer fee for Brighton which would allow them to reinvest it and help the club continue to be successful.
"The fans have taken me to their hearts and they will always be in my heart, so I hope they can understand why I want to take up this magnificent opportunity."
Caicedo is regarded by many to have been one of the standout young players in the Premier League this season and a key part of the Seagulls' rise up to sixth in the table, attracting interest from the league leaders, along with Chelsea, who had a £55m bid rebuffed earlier in the transfer window and are managed by his former boss at Brighton, Graham Potter.
Caicedo also featured prominently in the recent Qatar World Cup group stage, equalising against Senegal in his country's final match before Kalidou Koulibaly bagged the winner to knock the South Americans out.
A tenacious ball-winner with an impressive range of passing and an ability to keep possession under pressure and drive his team forward, Caicedo would provide a valuable alternative to Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka should he move to the Emirates, while Chelsea have badly lacked energy in the middle of the park this term.
The transfer window closes at 11pm on Tuesday 31 January, and Brighton will be praying that if they do manage to keep hold of their prize asset for a few more months at least, they can get him to refocus as Roberto De Zerbi's men continue to push for European qualification for the first time in the club's history.