EXCLUSIVE: Edu under big pressure to complete Caicedo and Rice transfers

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 8 Jun 2023 23:19 BST
  • 3 min read
Moises Caicedo of Brighton in front of the Arsenal badge, set against a backdrop of a panorama of the Emirates Stadium in red
© ProShots

Arsenal sporting director Edu Gaspar, together with director of football Richard Garlick and vice chairman Tim Lewis, are under increasing pressure to ensure priority signings arrive at the club ahead of the start of next season.

FootballTransfers has learned that key Arsenal directors are in the spotlight after major transfer funds - to the tune of around £200 million - were made available to them by the owners.

Article continues under the video

Edu, who was given a promotion in 2022 from Technical Director to become Arsenal’s first-ever sporting director could find his job being on the line if he fails in his attempt to bring in priority signings such as Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo.

READ MORE: Premier League 2023/24 summer transfers: All the Done Deals

Personal terms have been agreed with both players. Rice came to an agreement in recent days, while Caicedo agreed terms with Arsenal in January.

But Chelsea are pushing hard to sign the Brighton man and the latest reports suggest that the South London club are willing to pay Brighton’s £80m asking price.

Arsenal infamously missed out on the signing of priority January target Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk when the deal was hijacked at the final hour by Chelsea.

READ MORE: Out of contract in 2023: The best free agents available on a Bosman

Although that may prove to be a blessing in disguise given Mudryk’s terrible start for Chelsea, any repeat of Arsenal failing to complete transfers will not be tolerated by the ownership or fans.

Declan Rice is expected to join Arsenal
© ProShots - Declan Rice is expected to join Arsenal

Recent quotes made by both Rice and Caicedo stating that they want to be playing Champions League football next season certainly should put Arsenal as favourites to sign the midfield pair.

This is because the main contenders for both players - Chelsea and Liverpool - are not in the Champions League in 2023-24. Liverpool are in the Europa League after finishing fifth while Chelsea are out of Europe altogether after coming twelfth.

Thus Edu and his transfer team will not be viewed positively from above or supporters if they fail to convince their main transfer targets to join this summer.

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.