'We know our place' - Graham Potter makes worrying Yves Bissouma transfer admission if Aston Villa bids get serious

Graham Potter admits Brighton know their place in the footballing hierarchy as star midfielder Yves Bissouma continues to be linked with a move away from the Amex Stadium this January transfer window

Albion head coach Graham Potter is keen to keep Mali international Yves Bissouma

Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa are the latest club to be strongly linked with a move for the £50m rated Mali international who has previously attracted interest from Arsenal, Man United, Liverpool, Newcastle and Real Madrid.

Bissouma, 25, is currently on international duty with Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations and missed Albion's 2-1 extra time victory in the FA Cup at West Brom yesterday.

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The influential midfielder joined Brighton in 2018 for £15m from Lille and has since flourished in the Premier League under the guidance of head coach Graham Potter, who Bissouma has previously described as a father figure.

Villa are keen to kick-start the Gerrard era in style at Villa Park. They have already added Philippe Coutinho on a loan deal from Barcelona and are now keen to add the power and guile of Bissouma to their midfield.

"Nope," was Potter's blunt response when asked if any club has spoken to him about Bissouma. The Albion boss then added, "Who knows. It's the transfer window, you never know."

Potter was then asked if the club were concerned with the length remaining on Bissouma's contract and if the club were actively negotiating a new deal for their midfielder.

"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."

West Brom 1-2 Brighton

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.