Albion boss Graham Potter insists Yves Bissouma is “happy and ready” to play ahead of Brighton’s Premier League opener at Burnley this Saturday.
Bissouma, 24, was a hugely impressive performer in the Premier League last season and was widely expected to depart this summer.
His agent fuelled speculation further, stating there was “significant interest” in his client with Liverpool, Man City and Real Madrid all said to be keen.
The Mali international has however enjoyed a full pre-season and featured in all the friendly matches against Rangers, Luton Town and Getafe.
Bissouma is expected to take his place in central midfield at Turf Moor tomorrow and will likely to form a partnership with new signing Enock Mwepu, who joined from Red Bull Salzburg for £20m last month.
“I seem to have been speaking about Yves Bissouma for quite sometime,” said Potter, when asked if his key man will be an Albion player by the end of the transfer window.
“But he’s still here. I can’t control the future. Yves is with us, he’s happy and smiling, he wants to play and keep on improving his career. He’s our player and while he’s here we will do our best to help him.”
Danny Welbeck (hamstring), Tariq Lamptey (hamstring), Dan Burn (knee) and Moises Caicedo (knee) are all set to miss the trip to Turf Moor. Lamptey has been out since last December and is expected to return after the first international break in September.
South African striker Percy Tau, who didn’t play in the final pre-season against Getafe, is available for selection at Burnley but unlikely to start as he continues to be linked with a move away.
Shane Duffy, who had a tough time on loan at Celtic last season, will be in the matchday squad at Burnley, as Potter looks to fill the defensive void after Ben White’s £50m exit to Arsenal.