NEW: Graham Potter addresses Yves Bissouma 18 month contract talk amid increasing Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa link

Graham Potter admits the transfer window can throw up some curve balls as he tackled questions on the future of his star midfielder Yves Bissouma

Yves Bissouma is key figure in the Brighton midfield

Bissouma is currently on international duty with Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations as Brighton safely progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win at West Brom.

Bissouma, 25, continues to be linked with a move away from the Amex this January with Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa the latest club to show interest in the £50m rated midfielder.

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Villa have just added Philippe Coutinho to their ranks on loan from Barcelona and are keen to kick-start the Gerrard era in style with a January push for Bissouma.

"Nope," said Graham Potter when asked if any club has spoken to him about Bissouma, before adding: "Who knows. It's the transfer window, you never know."

Bissouma, who joined Brighton for £15m from French outfit Lille in 2018 has 18 months remaining on his contract.

Asked if that places Albion a slightly fragile position, Potter added: "The contract is something between the player and the club.

"We are comfortable with where we are at, we know the situation. From my perspective, I will just try to help him when he comes back from the AFCON and help him get back to his best. When he does that, he is a top player.

"We want to keep all our players but I also understand the way the market is and the way football is. We understand where we are in the football football pyramid.

"You know that things can happen but my expectation is that we will have a strong squad come the end of the transfer window."

Last Thursday, Potter previously said he did not expect any of his first-team players to leave during the January transfer window.

"I am really happy with the group we have got and it can get better.

"I don’t think we’ve reached the maximum potential as a group and I am looking forward to seeing how that develops.

"Then we will see if anything comes from the outside which we have to factor into, we’re open to that. We’re not a selling club, but you never know in this world.

"I’d expect all our players to be with us. There’s a lot of speculation out there, there’s nothing to report.

"The fact that there’s speculation out there means we’re doing something well. As a team and a club, which we are, we’re ok with that speculation."

Brighton moved into the fourth round of the FA Cup as Neal Maupay’s extra-time strike secured a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over 10-man West Brom at the Hawthorns.

The Championship promotion-chasers went ahead through a 47th-minute Callum Robinson finish before being reduced to 10 men with just over 20 minutes of normal time to go when Cedric Kipre picked up two bookings in quick succession.

The visitors capitalised as substitute Jakub Moder equalised in the 81st minute, then teed up Maupay eight minutes into the first half of extra time.

Brighton boss Graham Potter made seven changes from the 3-2 Premier League win at Everton, with those coming in including debutant goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen and 19-year-old defender Odel Offiah, the nephew of rugby league’s Martin Offiah,

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