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Graham Potter: Brighton compete by selling at the right time for right price

Graham Potter understands he cannot keep all of his star players long term (Danny Lawson/PA)
Graham Potter understands he cannot keep all of his star players long term (Danny Lawson/PA)

Brighton boss Graham Potter has “absolute confidence” the club can negotiate the best possible transfer deals should they opt to sell any of their star players.

Albion trio Robert Sanchez, Marc Cucurella and Yves Bissouma have been linked with summer moves away from the Amex Stadium on the back of impressive campaigns.

The Seagulls sold 2020-21 player of the season Ben White to Arsenal for £50million last July but have overcome his exit to register a club-record Premier League points tally.

Potter understands there is a pecking order in football and, with Brighton having recorded losses of £53.4m last year, accepts further big-money departures are a distinct possibility.

“The narrative in the media is you need to keep hold of your players and I understand why that is, because that’s just sensible,” he said ahead of Sunday’s season finale at home to West Ham.

“But there is a hierarchy in football and a reality of finances in football, so we can’t sit here and say, ‘yep, we’re going to keep all of our players between now and five years’ time’, because clearly that puts a huge strain on the economic position of the club.

“It’s important for us to keep moving that forward, that’s a way we compete, I think. Selling Ben for £50million and getting better is how we can compete in the system.

“It’s about selling the right player at the right time for the right price and I think we’re quite good at that, or we have been recently.

“I’ve absolute confidence in the club in terms of finding the right solution to go forward.”

Spanish left-back Cucurella arrived from Getafe last summer and is reportedly interesting Manchester City following a series of standout displays which led to him being crowned Albion’s player of the season.

Goalkeeper Sanchez is rumoured to be a target for both Leicester and Newcastle, while midfielder Bissouma has been repeatedly linked with a host of Premier League rivals.

Potter admits providing players with pathways to more lucrative contracts at so-called bigger clubs is an essential part of attracting new talent to Sussex.

“It’s good for the players because then they know there’s a chance we can help their career and their life,” he said.

“That’s also important in terms of recruiting players because you’ve got to offer something if you’re not paying the absolute financial level that some teams are.

“What’s the saying, ‘more money, more problems’? It might get complicated but it’s a good problem.”

Meanwhile, out-of-contract pair Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck are on the verge of agreeing extensions.

Potter believes former Manchester United, Arsenal and England forward Welbeck is capable of returning to his prime.

“He’s got some years left in him, absolutely – that’s the key,” Potter said of the 31-year-old.

“He’s enjoying his football, he’s injury-free. You look at his career where he’s played and I think he can get back to that level – he’s not far away from it now, to be honest.

“He gives us a slightly different option and he’s going to be really important for us, so delighted we can keep working together.”

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