Chelsea will this week make an improved £70million-plus offer for Moises Caicedo.
The 21-year-old has already agreed personal terms at Stamford Bridge and hopes the next bid will convince Brighton to accept his dream move.
Chelsea have previously seen a £60m bid rejected for their no1 midfield target, and there is concern Brighton will also dismiss this improved offer after turning down a similar sum from Arsenal during the January transfer window.
Brighton are holding out for £100m having benchmarked the fee against the £105m Arsenal paid to sign Declan Rice from West Ham.
Caicedo last week reiterated his desire to join Chelsea, telling Ecuadorian outlet TC Television: “It’s a big team, that’s true. A very historic team which I can’t say no [to joining] because it’s a very big, historic, beautiful team.
“The city as well is beautiful. It’s got everything beautiful.”
Chelsea’s co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart have been in contact with Brighton chiefs in recent weeks, feeding back regularly to new manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Pochettino has confirmed he is keen to “finish the squad” before the pre-season tour of the United States as he finds himself lacking in midfield talent after Chelsea’s recent fire sale.
N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all left west London in recent weeks as Chelsea raised over £230m by selling 11 players.
The exodus of talent could free up room for a second midfielder to join, with Chelsea weighing up bids for Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga and Southampton’s Romeo Lavia later in the transfer window.
Pochettino is also open to signing an additional striker and both Winstanley and Stewart have tested the market for options, but will first give opportunities to new signings Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson, alongside Armando Broja, who has returned from a serious knee injury sustained in December, during pre-season.