Caicedo tells Brighton he wants to leave after reported £60m Arsenal bid
Moises Caicedo has told Brighton and Hove Albion the time has come for him to leave after Arsenal launched a reported £60million bid for the Ecuadorian midfielder.
The 21-year-old said the Seagulls would be preventing him taking a "magnificent opportunity" if they refuse to sell him.
Chelsea have also been interested in Caicedo, while Brighton are reluctant to sell having already lost Leandro Trossard to Premier League leaders Arsenal last week after the Belgium winger fell out with head coach Roberto De Zerbi.
De Zerbi has urged the in-demand Caicedo to remain at the Amex Stadium – for the time being at least – but the player appears to have made his mind up.
Caicedo mentioned club owner Tony Bloom in a statement on Instagram, also saying he hoped supporters of Brighton would understand why he wants to move on.
"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," Caicedo's statement read.
"I am the youngest of 10 siblings from a poor upbringing in Santa Domingo in Ecuador. My dream [was] 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."
De Zerbi, speaking earlier on Friday, said he felt Caicedo was "focused only on Brighton", expressing the hope he would stay for the rest of the campaign.
Now, though, the situation has changed.
Brighton sit sixth in the Premier League and could qualify for Europe next season, but if they continue to leak talent that will become more difficult.
Before the player's statement emerged, De Zerbi said of Caicedo's situation: "I spoke with him on Wednesday and I told him my opinion.
"I think it's always difficult to change inside the season because you can find more problems. It is important to stay another four months."