Brighton and Hove Albion fans shouldn’t ‘criticize’ Moises Caicedo for asking for a transfer, says manager Roberto de Zerbi.
The Seagulls have rejected two offers from Arsenal for the Ecuadorian midfielder, 21, the second worth around £70million.
He told Brighton he wanted a move in an open letter but the club responded by telling him to stay away from training until the transfer deadline.
“I want them [the fans] to support him,” De Zerbi said.
“I don’t want them criticizing him. I like Moises, the people who work at Brighton like Moises, he’s a good guy. I’m very happy he’s staying with us until the end of the season. .”
Caicedo has made 30 appearances and scored two goals since joining Brighton in February 2021 from Independiente del Valle for £4million.
With the transfer window closed until the summer, he is set to return to De Zerbi’s squad when they host Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, having been left out of the FA Cup win at the weekend -end against Liverpool.
“I don’t know if he made a mistake or not but the transfer market is closed and the fans have to follow me because I take responsibility,” added the former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss.
“If I say something that clear about Moises, they [the fans] have to believe in me. The other players love and respect him.
“They understood the situation, because everyone in football knows that this situation can happen. If there is no problem with me, then there is no problem for anyone.”