Brighton have seen a bid for RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara rejected as the club explored options to replace Moises Caicedo.
Caicedo is wanted by Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea, while The Blues rejected a £55 million bid from the Seagulls last week.
It is believed a bid of at least £75 million would be needed to lure Brighton into a sale this month, with the club looking for a possible replacement in the form of Haidara.
However, according to The Guardian, Leipzig rejected Brighton’s offer. The Bundesliga, who are just four points ahead of leaders Bayern Munich in the German title race, are not interested in a sale this month as the player accepts the club’s decision.
The 24-year-old striker has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave in the summer if a Champions League club comes into play. Manchester United and Liverpool have previously been linked with the Malian international.
Chelsea, meanwhile, remain interested in signing Caicedo this month, but may have to wait until the summer with Brighton.
Keen to strengthen their options in midfield, the Blues are preparing a new bid for Benfica star Enzo Fernandez.
The Argentina international has a £106m release clause and Chelsea are unable to reach a deal earlier this month.
Graham Potter’s side offered to pay £112 million in three annual installments, also reportedly including £87 million plus Hakim Ziyech and two other players on loan.
However, Benfica insist he will not leave until that clause is paid in full and head coach Roger Schmidt is confident the player will not push for a departure this month.
Asked if he was confident Fernandez would stay, Schmidt said at a press conference on Wednesday: “Yes. When you see Enzo playing for Benfica, you see a very happy player in great form.
‘He thinks of nothing else. I don’t expect to lose any of our regular players so I see very focused players and hope it stays that way.”
Chelsea also have long-term interests in West Ham captain Declan Rice, but Arsenal have now taken the lead in the race to sign the England star.
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