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Brighton reject £70m bid from Chelsea for Caicedo

Chelsea are reluctant to give up on their quest to sign Brighton & Hove Albion ace Moises Caicedo to reinforce their depleted midfield.

However, after failing at the first attempt, the Blues have encountered another rejection as the Seagulls turned down their second bid for the 21-year-old star.

According to The Athletic, the London outfit’s second offer worth £70 million has fallen short of Brighton’s eye-watering £100m valuation.

Caicedo has informed the Sussex club of his desire to join Chelsea this summer after seeing his midfield partner Alexis Mac Allister leave the Amex Stadium for Liverpool.

While the Ecuadorian’s employers vowed to let him exit the club months after helping them secure historic Europa League qualification, they’ve yet to hold up their end of the bargain.

Brighton won’t sell their sought-after asset unless a monstrous £100m bid is made after tying him down to a new long-term contract in May.

Chelsea are in the driver’s seat to sign Caicedo, but a move remains complicated after they refused to negotiate Levi Colwill’s permanent switch to the Amex.

Colwill went from strength to strength during a season-long loan at Brighton last term, but the Blues view him as a potential first-team regular at Stamford Bridge.

They have already knocked back the Seagulls’ £30m for the up-and-coming centre-back, which could have significant repercussions for their ongoing effort to sign Caicedo.

Brighton are keen to get back at Chelsea for hindering their pursuit of Colwill by playing hardball on the Ecuador international’s switch to west London.

Caicedo has yet to return to Europe since the end of last season. He has linked up with De Zerbi’s pre-season squad in the United States.

However, Mauricio Pochettino is still hopeful of luring the highly-rated midfielder to the Bridge after relinquishing the services of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount this summer.

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