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Arsenal warn Chelsea over summer pursuit of Declan Rice amid Moises Caicedo January transfer battle



(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Arsenal are ready to offer Chelsea serious competition as both sides look to bolster their midfields in January and the summer.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea are looking at similar profiles of players and it won’t be their first transfer battle following the Mykhailo Mudryk saga, which saw Graham Potter‘s side come out victorious to win the £88 million race.

Now they are locked in a battle to try to sign Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo, who wants to leave the south coast this club.

The 21-year-old issued a public statement on Friday to outline his intentions of leaving the club this month following rejected bids by Brighton from Arsenal and Chelsea.

He wrote: “I am grateful to Mr. Bloom and Brighton for giving me the chance to come to the Premier League and I feel I have always done my best for them. I always play football with a smile and with heart.

“I am the youngest of 10 siblings from a poor upbringing in Santa Domingo in Ecuador. My dream always to be the most decorated player in the history of Ecuador.

“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.

“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.”

However, Brighton are adamant he is staying this month. Caicedo will not return to the club’s training ground until the January window closes on Tuesday, with their expectation being he will be part of Roberto Ze Derbi’s squad for the second half of the season.

Whether Chelsea or Arsenal will try with another offer before the deadline remains unclear, however Mikel Arteta’s side are focused on trying to agree a deal for the Ecuadorian before Tuesday’s deadline.

Another target for both clubs is West Ham’s Declan Rice. He has been of long-term interest to Chelsea, but with Arsenal’s place at the top of the Premier League, they believe they are the frontrunners for his signature this summer and is their number one target.

The Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership have been sent a warning though by their London rivals.

As reported by the Daily Telegraph, Arsenal’s pursuit of Caicedo will not step them going for Rice in the summer.

The cost of any potential deal for Caicedo will not affect their pursuit of Rice, who is their top target.

Rice is expected to leave West Ham this summer in order to fulfil his ambitions of playing in the Champions League and top of the table side.

West Ham are likely to command between £70-100 million for the England international, with Manchester City and Manchester United also interested in the midfielder.

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