CHELSEA have seen a second bid of £70million for Moises Caicedo rejected by Brighton.
The Blues are now preparing a third offer to secure their priority summer target – having also had a £60m proposal dismissed last month.
GettyChelsea have had a £70m bid for Moises Caicedo rejected[/caption]
Ecuadorian midfielder Caicedo is currently in the United States with the Seagulls on their pre-season summer tour – and is due to come up against Chelsea in Philadelphia on July 22.
Caicedo has already made it clear he favours a move to West London during this window.
And Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino is desperate to get this deal over the line as quickly as possible, with the club unbothered by Monday’s rejected second bid.
Brighton are prepared to lose Caicedo on two conditions: their asking price of around £100m is met and they can get a like-for-like replacement through the door.
Caicedo signed a new contract extension in March until 2027 with a club option of another 12 months.
Following Declan Rice’s £105m switch to Arsenal from West Ham, this fee has been used as a template by Brighton, believing the 21-year-old to be of similar quality, especially after the Gunners saw a £70m offer turned down for the player in January.
And a deal could prove complicated with Brighton and Chelsea also locked in talks over central defender Levi Colwill, 20, with the former already having a £30m bid knocked back.
Pochettino intends for Colwill – who enjoyed a successful loan spell on the south coast last season – to be a part of his pre-season squad with key injuries in that area.
Benoit Badiashile and Wesley Fofana have remained at Cobham this month in a bid to recover in time for the beginning of the campaign.
Right back Reece James is also yet to travel after feeling unwell on Monday, but is expected to join up at a later date.
Chelsea kick-start their pre-season in the early hours of Thursday morning against League Two side Wrexham in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
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