Brighton have told Chelsea that Moises Caicedo will start the new Premier League season with them this weekend.
Chelsea news, exclusives and analysis
Chelsea have seen multiple offers for the Ecuador international, including a bid of £80 million last week, turned down by Brighton.
Caicedo remains Chelsea’s priority target for the remainder of the summer transfer window but Brighton continue to hold out for a £100m transfer fee.
The midfielder was absent for Brighton’s 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday due to a hamstring injury he suffered in training.
However, the club expect Caicedo to be in their starting line-up for their Premier League opener against Luton Town on Saturday.
‘Moises had a slight hamstring injury late in training and was pulled out for that reason,’ Brighton’s chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber said on Sunday.
‘With a Premier League season just a week away it makes no sense to risk him today.
‘We’re looking forward to Moises starting the season with us, he’s a Brighton player under a long-term contract.
‘He’s probably one of the most exciting young midfield players in the world at the moment and we’re delighted to have him.’
However, Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi has suggested that Caicedo’s future at the club remains uncertain.
‘If Moises leaves, we will find another important player. And if Moises stays, I will be happy for us, for the team, for the club,’ De Zerbi said.
‘But it’s not my problem now, if Moises leaves, we will bring another player in. We are Brighton, and under our policy there is the possibility to lose some players at the end of the season. It was the same for [Alexis] Mac Allister and [Levi] Colwill.’
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