Roberto de Zerbi has openly discussed Chelsea’s interest in Moises Caicedo and a potential player swap deal.
The two clubs remain in discussions over a deal and face each other in a pre-season friendly in Philadelphia this evening, and Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi said the 21-year-old will stay at the South Coast club if their demands are not met.
“At the moment Moises is a Brighton player. I spoke with Tony Bloom and he told me if the conditions don’t change, Moises stays with us.
“For me it should be great news because it is difficult to find another player like Moises. If Moises leaves we have to find another player of the same level because we deserve to play the next season with the same [quality].”
The Italian said that Caicedo will not feature against his suitors in America, but refused to put a price on his prized asset.
“We need to wait and see what happens with Caicedo. Then we know what we need to do. I’ve not spoken with him yet, but of course I’d like him to stay.
“If he does leave, we need to buy another great player with the same characteristics and qualities. They are difficult to find. He’s here, he’s trained three days. But he needs time to condition. Right now, there is a possibility he can leave this window.
“What’s he worth? It’s not my job to say. But [he will be] very difficult to replace.
“I have no doubt he will cope if he stays. He’s a great guy. But the market isn’t closed so we must wait. He won’t play against Chelsea tomorrow – he’s not ready yet.”
While Chelsea are keen on Caicedo, Brighton are interested in signing Levi Colwill from Stamford Bridge following his loan spell with the Seagulls last season.
“There are two questions. Not only about Caicedo, also about Colwill, and maybe it can be [a swap].
“I would like to play with Caicedo and Colwill together but at the moment I can only speak about Caicedo as Colwill is not one of my players.”