League One outfit lead the race to sign Brighton star ahead of Nottingham Forest, Swansea City and Cardiff City

Brighton and Hove Albion's talented young defender Haydon Roberts is closing in on a loan exit this January transfer window.

Roberts, 19, was an unused substitute last night as Albion drew 1-1 with European champions Chelsea at the Amex Stadium.

The England youth international is highly-regarded at Brighton but is behind established Premier League defenders Joel Veltman, Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, Dan Burn and Marc Cucurella in the pecking order.

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Roberts has been involved in a number of Premier League matchday squads but is yet to see game time in the top flight.

Haydon Roberts could be on the move this January

The left-footed defender impressed in the Carabao Cup matches this season and is keen to secure regular football with a loan this January.

Roberts, who was born in Brighton, enjoyed a loan stint with league One Rochdale last term and has attracted interest from Championship clubs Nottingham Forest, Swansea and Cardiff.

League One Sheffield Wednesday are also looking to bolster their defence and their boss Darren Moore has previously worked with Albion's Taylor Richards while on loan at Doncaster.

Albion were said to be impressed with the way Moore managed Richards during a difficult point in his career.

Brighton head coach Graham Potter believes a loan for Roberts could now be the ideal option

"It is difficult for Haydon, he is competing in a really strong area of the pitch for us," said Potter.

"I think he has to be patient, he probably has to keep working, might have to look at a loan situation for him to play some football.

"You have to look at our defensive record - one of the best in the Premier League. So the guys that have done it have done it well.

"So it is just unfortunate that he is at the start of his career and he has to probably be patient and wait for his opportunity."

Asked if any loan for Roberts could be delayed due to an ankle injury to Duffy, Potter added: "The (loan) decision wouldn't necessarily be taken on the back of that.

"We want him to enjoy his football, keep progressing. He's done that in the first part of the season, but it's important for him to play as well.

"We're looking at the right solution for him. It's not just a case of Haydon can go on loan, you've got to find the right option, make sure everything fits for him, for us and the club that wants him.

"We will continue to look at that, but we're not so stressed about it. We'll see. It's important that he continues to develop."