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Graham Potter insists in-demand Yves Bissouma still happy at Brighton

Brighton & Hove Albion v Getafe – Pre Season Friendly – AMEX Stadium
(Image credit: Kieran Cleeves)

Brighton boss Graham Potter insists Yves Bissouma is happy at the Amex Stadium but admits he does not know what the player’s future holds.

Mali midfielder Bissouma has been repeatedly linked with a move away from the south coast but is set to begin the new Premier League season in Albion colours at Burnley on Saturday.

Top-flight rivals Tottenham and Liverpool are among the clubs rumoured to be interested in the 24-year-old, while a possible switch to join former Seagulls team-mate Ben White at Arsenal has also been reported.

“I’ve been speaking about Yves Bissouma for quite some time and he’s still here,” said Potter, ahead of the trip to Turf Moor.

“That’s all I can say on it. I can’t control the future, I don’t know what’s going to happen essentially – that’s the beauty of life and football.

“Yves is with us, he’s happy, he’s smiling, he wants to play, he wants to keep improving his career, he’s taking steps.

“He’s our player and, while he’s still here, we’ll do our best to help him.”

Bissouma, who has two years remaining on his Brighton contract, has scored four times in 96 appearances since joining from French club Lille for a reported £15million in 2018.

Albion appear under no pressure to sell having gained around £50m from White’s departure to the Gunners, with the capture of Zambia midfielder Enock Mwepu for approximately £20m their only major outlay of the summer.

Head coach Potter has funds available to strengthen his squad but will not be rushed into making rash purchases and remains content to work with the players already at his disposal.

“While the window is open, you never know, that’s how football is,” he said about potential new arrivals.

“That’s the beauty of the transfer window, there’s lots of speculation, that’s part of the noise.

“We have to spend it wisely, which is the right player, the right person; if that comes along then of course then it helps us to help the group.

“We’ve got that possibility but if not we have to keep improving the players that we have here, that’s my job.”

While Bissouma and White impressed for the duration of last term, another key talent, Tariq Lamptey, has not featured since mid-December due to a hamstring issue.

The right-back will be absent against the Clarets and could be sidelined for at least a further month.

“He’s joined the group intermittently. He’s still doing his rehab, a slow few weeks but has made good progress recently, so he has joined in a few sessions with the players,” said Potter.

“We’re hoping he’ll step that up. With a bit of luck, maybe after the international break we might see a bit more of Tariq.”

Dutch goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen, a recent arrival from Ajax, Dan Burn, Moises Caicedo and Danny Welbeck will also be absent this weekend due to injury.