Brighton defender set to stay this month leaving Albion to decide on contract extension

Brighton and Hove Albion defender has been a key figure in the Scottish Premiership with Hearts this season but is out of contract with the Seagulls this summer

Albion have a big decision to make on their promising young left back impressing north of the border while on loan at Hearts.

Cochrane, 21, has made 23 appearances for the Edinburgh club who are third in the table and pushing for European qualification.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

The Brighton born player has featured predominantly as left wing back and has scored three times for Robbie Neilson's team.

Alex Cochrane is out of contract with Brighton this summer

Cochrane has been with the Brighton academy since 2018 but is out of contract this summer. Hearts are keen to sign the England youth international on permanent basis and Cochrane is free discuss a pre-contract agreement with any interested clubs as his Brighton deal is now into the last six months.

But it's unclear at this stage what Brighton's plans for Cochrane are.

Cochrane is clearly enjoying his football at Hearts and believes he has developed as player under the guidance of Neilson.

“I feel I've got more experience under my belt,” said Cochrane.

“There are still areas of my game I need to work on but, at the same time, I'm still young. It's stuff I need to improve on in training but I feel I've come on a lot since the start of the season.

“We're more than halfway through now. I feel I've really come on leaps and bounds with Hearts, especially defensively. It's something I've been working on and I've made sure I've been knuckling down.

“Going forward, I've been getting more freedom into my play and linking up with players. I feel I'm doing that more and more this season.”

“There has been nothing yet at all. Nothing has been said. All my talking has got to be done on the pitch and then we can go from there,” said the defender.

Brighton currently have four left sided players vying for first team football with Graham Potter's team. Dan Burn, the excellent Marc Cucurella, Haydon Roberts and Solly March all operate on the left flank and first opportunities could be limited at the Amex for Cochrane.

Burn however continues to be linked with a move to Newcastle while Roberts could also opt for a loan as he searches for regular football.