LONDON, United Kingdom, (AFP) – Moises Caicedo has pleaded with Brighton to accept a club record transfer fee amid interest from Arsenal in the midfielder.
The Premier League leaders have reportedly seen a £60 million ($74 million) bid turned down for the Ecuadorian international.
"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," Caicedo tweeted on Friday.
"The fans have taken me into 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."
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi is determined to keep the 21-year-old at least until the end of the season.
"He's 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, for us," De Zerbi told reporters on Friday.
"I spoke with him Wednesday and I told him my opinion. I think it's always difficult to change during a season. For our way, it's important for him to stay another four months with us."
Brighton have already sold Belgium forward Leandro Trossard to Arsenal for £27 million during the current January transfer window.
Caicedo, who has also been linked to a reunion with former coach Graham Potter at Chelsea, is under contract with Brighton until 2025.
"He is relaxed. He's a good guy. I spoke with him like a father, not like a coach," added De Zerbi.
"I understand when one player has the possibility to change team and go to a very big team.
"I understand. My work is to give the style of play, but to give also advice for his career, his life."
Brighton face Liverpool at home in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.
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