Arsenal Chiefs Eyeing Big-Money Moves for Rice and Caicedo
In a bid to strengthen their midfield ahead of the upcoming 2023-24 season, Arsenal’s top brass is reportedly ready to approve two significant signings: Declan Rice from West Ham United and Moises Caicedo from Brighton & Hove Albion.
Despite Jorginho’s positive impact since his arrival from Chelsea in January, the Gunners are keen on bolstering their midfield options further. The pursuit of Italian international Jorginho only materialized on deadline day after Arsenal conceded defeat in their attempts to lure Caicedo away from Brighton, following two rejected bids.
Caicedo sent shockwaves through social media after news broke of Arsenal’s failed offer, expressing his desire to leave Brighton and seize the opportunity to join Mikel Arteta’s side. Although temporarily dropped from the team, a surprising turn of events led to Caicedo signing a new contract until 2027. Nevertheless, Brighton is prepared for potential bids in the upcoming transfer window.
According to reliable sources, Arsenal is aiming to secure the services of both Caicedo and Rice in an audacious double swoop, potentially surpassing their previous single-window spending record. The Gunners’ hierarchy is reportedly ready to provide Arteta with a staggering £200 million transfer budget, with approximately £170 million of that allocation earmarked for the acquisitions of Caicedo and Rice.
While West Ham initially rejected offers below £100 million for Rice, they now seem resigned to losing their captain as his contract expires at the end of next season. Arsenal is optimistic about negotiating the fee down to around £90 million for Rice, and a move for Caicedo could require an additional outlay of at least £70 million, possibly reaching up to £80 million.
However, there have been suggestions that Brighton may refuse to engage in negotiations with Arsenal for Caicedo due to their relentless pursuit of the 21-year-old during the winter transfer window. Arsenal apparently ignored warnings that Caicedo was not for sale under any circumstances, which has left Brighton hesitant to enter into business dealings with the North London club.
Despite this, Brighton manager De Zerbi has acknowledged the possibility of bidding farewell to Caicedo this summer, as Chelsea and Liverpool are also reportedly interested in securing his signature. Likewise, West Ham boss David Moyes has conceded that there is a “good chance” Rice, who yearns for Champions League football, could leave the London Stadium at the end of the season.
Rice has reportedly turned down multiple contract renewal offers from West Ham, positioning Arsenal as the frontrunners for his signature. However, Manchester United is reportedly monitoring the situation closely.
Following a 3-0 defeat to Brighton on Sunday, Arsenal finds themselves four points behind second-placed Manchester City. Their title aspirations will be extinguished if City overcomes Chelsea in the upcoming fixture.