Manchester United and Liverpool target Yves Bissouma unlikely to leave Brighton, says Brighton boss Graham Potter

Yves Bissouma is attracting interest from Manchester United and Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

Brighton manager Graham Potter says he’s ‘confident’ Yves Bissouma will stay this January, despite intense speculation linking the midfielder with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa.

Bissouma, 25, has established himself as one of the most sought-after midfielders in English football over the last three-and-a-half seasons following a £15million switch from Lille to Brighton back in 2018.

But the Malian, currently away on international duty at AFCON, has entered into the final 18 months of his contract on the south coast and there is mounting uncertainty over his future given talks over a possible extension have failed to get off the ground.

Recent reports claimed Brighton had slapped a £50million price tag on Bissouma, with Premier League’s elite circling, but the Seagulls are reluctant to part with such a key player midway through the campaign.

‘Players at this level know that at this time of year there is speculation and things in newspapers,’ Potter told reporters ahead of Brighton’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.

‘It’s part of what they have to deal with and they know they have to focus on their football and let all the other stuff take care of itself.

‘There are lots of ifs and buts. I’m confident. I think Yves is enjoying his football here but with the transfer window you never know.’

Potter is ‘confident’ Bissouma will still be a Brighton player when the January transfer window closes (Picture: Getty)

Though Potter remains hopeful of keeping hold of Bissouma, he said Brighton had to plan for every eventuality and could not rule out the Mali international moving on this month.

‘It doesn’t matter what I say. We have to adapt – which we do, which we have done,’ he added.

‘You have to plan for things you can’t necessarily foresee. We’re in a good place but we’ll see.’

The Mali midfielder is reportedly available for £50m (Picture: Getty)

Speaking earlier this week, former England striker Darren Bent urged Arsenal to test Brighton’s resolve for Bissouma.

‘I would like to see Arsenal go and get Yves Bissouma from Brighton,’ he said on talkSPORT.

‘I really like him, I think he’s a top, top player. I think he’s gettable as well.

‘Him and Partey in the middle of the park, that is what you call protection in front of the back four by the way.

‘You let the likes of [Emile] Smith Rowe, [Martin] Odegaard bomb forward.

‘If you can Yves Bissouma, I think he can turn into a top player in this league, I really do. I really like him.

‘He’s one of those players that can be box-to-box but if you ask him to sit there, he’s comfortable in possession. Yeah he’s a top player.’

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