Brighton have yet to receive any Yves Bissouma bids – Graham Potter

Aston Villa are reportedly interested in signing the midfielder, who is on AFCON duty with Mali.

By Press Association Published: 8 January 2022 - 7.29pm

Brighton boss Graham Potter said there had been no contact from any club regarding Yves Bissouma following the 2-1 extra-time FA Cup win at West Brom.

Reports have linked the Seagulls midfielder, who is on international duty with Mali ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, with Aston Villa.

Asked at his post-match press conference after the game at the Hawthorns if any club had been in touch about Bissouma, Potter simply said: “No.”

He was then asked if he would expect that to change this month, and said: “Who knows? That’s the transfer window, you never know.”

Bissouma has 18 months left on his current contract, and regarding a possible new deal for the 25-year-old, Potter said: “That’s something between the player and the club.

“We’re comfortable where we’re at. We know the situation. From my perspective, I’m just trying to help him, when he comes back from the AFCON, perform to his best because when he does that he’s a top player.”

Potter also said he was “absolutely” keen to keep hold of “all our players”, before adding: “But I also understand the way the market is, the way football is, we understand where we are in the football pyramid. You know that things can happen.

“But my expectation is we’ll have a strong squad come the end of the window.”

Brighton moved into round four of the cup after coming from behind to defeat Championship promotion-chasers West Brom, with the turnaround happening after the hosts were reduced to 10 men.

The Baggies took the lead through a 47th-minute Callum Robinson finish before having Cedric Kipre sent off midway through the second half via two bookings in quick succession, following fouls on Neal Maupay in the 67th minute and Leandro Trossard in the 69th.

Brighton capitalised as Trossard’s fellow substitute Jakub Moder fired in the equaliser with nine minutes of normal time to go, then teed up a Maupay strike eight minutes into the first half of extra time.

Potter, who made seven changes to his starting line-up from the 3-2 Premier League win at Everton, said: “It was hard work, we knew it would be because of West Brom’s quality and style of play, they are very competitive, so we had to compete with that, which I thought we did.

“We conceded against the run of play really I thought, from probably their only chance, and the response was good.

“I thought we had a good mentality, a good attitude, the away support we had was fantastic and we’re delighted to go through.”

The red card was a third for West Brom in two games and their sixth in their last 12 outings.

Boss Valerien Ismael, whose starting XI showed four alterations from the 1-1 draw with Cardiff, said: “From the beginning I think until the red card, it was a great performance, exactly how we wanted.

“The red card was again the game-changer. This is exactly what I said to the guys after the game. I’m very delighted about the performance, but we have to stop with the red cards now because it’s the same story week in, week out.

“We are on top, we have the possibility to change the game, and we punish ourselves – down to 10 (men) for the game, I think with 11 guys we are able to keep the clean sheet, and we punish ourselves for the next game. Now we have three suspended players. We need to understand we can’t afford to punish ourselves.”

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