Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo has revealed on social media that he wants to leave the Premier League club for a “magnificent opportunity” elsewhere.
he PA news agency understands the Seagulls turned down an opening offer in the region of £60million from Arsenal on Friday for the Ecuador international.
It has also been reported that Chelsea have had an earlier bid of £55m rebuffed by the south coast club.
Caicedo said on Instagram that he was “proud to be able to bring in a record transfer fee for Brighton” but did not specify which club he wanted to join.
The 21-year-old said he hoped that Brighton understood why “I want to take up this magnificent opportunity”.
Caicedo said: “I am grateful to (Brighton chairman) 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.”
Caicedo had said on Brighton’s official website earlier this week that he was focused solely on his current club.
Leandro Trossard has already swapped the south coast club for Arsenal in the current window in a deal worth an initial £21m – but Brighton are determined to keep hold of Caicedo.
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 opportunityMoises Caicedo
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta refused to comment on Caicedo when asked about him after Friday night’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Arteta said: “You know that I’m not going to comment on any players until anything is done and I will continue like that, sorry.
“As I said before we’ve been pretty active in the market. We have some necessities and if something is available the club is willing to try to do it, when it’s reasonable and hopefully it’s a player who can improve our squad.”