Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi has admitted Chelsea can make negotiations for Moises Caicedo easier if they are willing to send Levi Colwill back as part of the deal.
The Blues are interested in signing the Ecuador midfielder and saw a £70m bid knocked back by the Seagulls this week. Sources close to Brighton have told 90min that this offer was ‘miles away’ from their £100m valuation.
While Chelsea want to bring Caicedo to Stamford Bridge, Brighton are interested in re-signing Colwill following his impressive loan spell last season. However, the west Londoners are determined to keep the centre-back.
Chelsea and Brighton face off this weekend as part of the Premier League Summer Series in the United States. In his pre-match press conference, the notoriously fiery De Zerbi sought to fan the flames of the two transfer sagas.
“Everyone is speaking about Moises, Chelsea maybe but me? No. The situation is very clear at the moment. Moises is a Brighton player and Tony Bloom told me, if the conditions don’t change, Moises stays with us. For me, it would be great news,” De Zerbi said.
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When asked if he had a verbal agreement to let Caicedo leave, the Italian replied: “It is not true. I am coach, not owner, I’m not a sporting director. I’m only a coach. Believe me, it is difficult to be a coach.”
De Zerbi then remarkably suggested the idea of a swap deal for the two, though did insist he would like to play Caicedo and Colwill in the same team again.
“There are two questions. Not only about Caicedo, also about Colwill, and maybe it can be [a swap],” he continued.
“I would like to play with Caicedo and Colwill together but at the moment I can only speak about Caicedo as Colwill is not one of my players.
“I don’t like speaking about players of other clubs. I speak about Caicedo because he’s our player. With Levi, I am proud of him. He showed his quality at the Under-21 Euros.”
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