Arsenal are now in pole position to sign Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo, and they are expected to reignite their interest in the summer, according to a report from Football Insider.
What’s the latest Arsenal transfer news?
The Arsenal board will hand Mikel Arteta a summer transfer budget of £150m, according to The Independent, and the manager’s main priority will be bringing in a new midfielder, with West Ham United’s Declan Rice emerging as the main target.
Given that West Ham are expected to demand £100m for Rice, the England international is affordable, however signing him would deplete a large chunk of the transfer budget, leaving Arteta with limited funds to strengthen elsewhere.
As such, the manager could look at bringing in a lower-cost alternative, with Southampton’s Romeo Lavia “on the radar“, according to CBS reporter Ben Jacobs, while Caicedo is another potential option.
At the start of May, it was reported that the Gunners were set to make an offer for the Ecuadorian, and they seemingly have a good chance of landing him, with Football Insider now reporting they are in pole position for his signature.
Despite Chelsea also sharing a long-term interest in the Brighton star, it is the north London club that are currently leading the race, and they are expected to reignite their interest in the upcoming window.
The Seagulls are now resigned to losing the 21-year-old, who is valued at £70m – £80m, and they have already found a replacement in Bourssia Dortmund’s Mahmoud Dahoud.
Should Arsenal sign Rice or Caicedo?
Caicedo could be as much as £30m cheaper than Rice, and there are indications he could be better than the Englishman, at least in a defensive sense, having made far more tackles in the Premier League this season.
The starlet has made the second-highest number of tackles in the entire top flight, while he has also recorded a superior pass-completion rate over the past year, averaging 88.4% per 90, compared to 86.3% from Rice.
That said, the Ecuador international does have very limited attacking attributes, recording just one goal and one assist in all competitions this season, with the West Ham star amassing nine goal contributions.
As such, while Rice is likely to cost far more money, he is a more well-rounded player, and he is far more proven in the Premier League, having made over 200 appearances in the competition, while Caicedo has made just 42.