Brighton transfer news: Albion agree surprise loan deal for international defender with Championship club

Loan move set to end early at the Bet365 Stadium as Brighton man wants to head back to the south coast

Michael O'Neill confirmed Leo Ostigard will return to Brighton in January

Brighton defender Leo Ostigard will be recalled early from his scheduled season-long loan move at Championship club Stoke City.

Ostigard joined the Potter's last summer in search of regular football in the second tier following a pervious successful loan with Coventry City.

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Brighton have however struggled with injuries in defensive areas with Lewis Dunk, Dan Burn, Adam Webster, Shane Duffy and Joel Veltman all missing matches this season.

Uncertainty with Covid-19 could also have influenced Albion's decision as head coach Graham Potter has previously spoken about boosting squad numbers with possible loan recalls.

Ostigard, a Norway international, could well fall into that category and Stoke boss Michael O'Neill confirmed earlier today that the 22-year-old would be leaving early and that it was also the players wish to do so.

"It is our understanding that Brighton will recall the loan," said O'Neill.

"They are within their rights to do that and the player has indicated that's his preferred choice as well.

"That allows us with the cost of we have of bringing Leo here, a bit of leeway to look at the market and see what we can need.

"Not a huge amount but it frees up wages to be able to look at what our options may be."

Stoke also have issues with another loanee from Brighton as striker Abdallah Sima is back at Albion for treatment on groin and pelvic injuries.

The Senegal international, who signed for Albion from Slavia Prague for £7m last summer, was immediately sent out on loan to Stoke but has made just two appearances in the Championship.