Roberto De Zerbi feels it would be in Moises Caicedo’s best interests to stay at Brighton and Hove Albion until the end of the season after Arsenal reportedly failed with a big-money bid for the midfielder.
The Gunners are said to have tabled a £60million offer for Caicedo, but the Seagulls are eager to ensure the 21-year-old is still at the club when the transfer window closes next Tuesday.
Chelsea are also keen on the Ecuador international and had a bid of their own turned down last week.
The Seagulls have already lost Leandro Trossard to Premier League leaders Arsenal last week after the Belgium winger fell out with De Zerbi.
Seagulls head coach De Zerbi has urged the in-demand Caicedo to remain at the Amex Stadium – for the time being at least.
The Italian said: “I think he’s [Caicedo] a good guy. He’s focused only on Brighton. I hope he can stay with us until the end of the season because, in my opinion, it’s the best solution for him and us.
“I can understand the other big teams want our young players – [Alexis] Mac Allister, Caicedo, [Kaoru] Mitoma, [Solly] March – but the decision is for the players and the club.
“I spoke with him on Wednesday and I told him my opinion.
“I think it’s always difficult to change inside the season because you can find more problems. It is important to stay another four months.”
Quizzed about his conversations with Caicedo, De Zerbi added: “He’s relaxed. He’s a good guy. I spoke with him like a father, not like a coach.
“I understand when one player has the possibility to change teams and go to a very big team, but my work is to give the style of play and also advice for his career and his life.”
“I spoke to Moises like a father, not a coach.” RDZ’s press conference.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) January 27, 2023