Brighton have told wantaway midfielder Moises Caicedo to stay away from the club until after the transfer window closes.
The Ecuador international has stated his desire to leave after Arsenal had an initial £60million offer turned down on Friday.
But the Seagulls remain staunch in their stance that Caicedo is not for sale and the PA news agency understands he has been given time off to avoid distractions and prepare himself for staying at the club for the rest of the season.
He was not involved in the club’s 11am training session on Saturday and will not feature in the FA Cup tie against Liverpool on Sunday.
Caicedo, who joined the Seagulls from Independiente del Valle in 2021, is expected to resume duties on Wednesday when the transfer window has closed.
Caicedo said on Instagram on Friday night that he was “proud to be able to bring in a record transfer fee for Brighton” but did not specify which club he wanted to join amid reports Chelsea are also tracking him.
The 21-year-old said he hoped that Brighton understood why “I want to take up this magnificent opportunity”.
Caicedo said: “I am grateful to (Brighton chairman) Mr (Tony) 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.
“I am the youngest of 10 siblings from a poor upbringing in Santa Domingo in Ecuador. My dream 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.”
Caicedo had said on Brighton’s official website earlier this week that he was focused solely on his current club.
Leandro Trossard has already swapped the south coast club for Arsenal in the current window in a deal worth an initial £21m – but Brighton are determined to keep hold of Caicedo.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta refused to comment on Caicedo when asked about him after Friday night’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Arteta said: “You know that I’m not going to comment on any players until anything is done and I will continue like that, sorry.
“As I said before we’ve been pretty active in the market. We have some necessities and if something is available the club is willing to try to do it, when it’s reasonable and hopefully it’s a player who can improve our squad.”