Caicedo had publicly asked to be allowed to leave the Amex Stadium for a “magnificent opportunity” elsewhere.
Arsenal, instead, moved to sign Jorginho from Chelsea before the Blues broke a British transfer record to bring Enzo Fernandez to the Premier League for £106m.
Brighton are notorious when it comes to extracting maximum value from their players, selling Ben White to the Gunners for £50m as well as Marc Cucurella to Chelsea for over £60m.
While De Zerbi was happy to welcome the 21-year-old back into the first-team fold, the Italian admitted Caicedo’s long-term future remains unclear.
“I don’t know,” replied the Italian boss when asked if Caicedo will depart Sussex before next season.
“I want to be responsible about him because I believe in Moises. I don’t know the situation in the future but he’s a good guy and I want to defend him now.
“In other times I spoke a different way for the other players but for Moises it’s different.
“We need the performance of Moises and he’s a fantastic guy and so I don’t want to hear criticism or anything more.”