Chris Hughton has said ‘Good luck to Newcastle..’ but he has no intention of letting his best players go.
On Friday it was revealed that Brighton had turned down a bid of over £6m for star winger Anthony Knockaert from Newcastle, with the Albion boss confident his club’s owner will continue to back him.
Chris Hughton points out the advantages Newcastle United have, with the size of the club and the calibre of signings so far, plus the tens of millions of parachute payments that give all the relegated clubs extra muscle in the transfer market.
Hughton admits that it is ‘common knowledge’ that there has been bids for the best players such as Knockaert but wants to keep them, otherwise they’ll have no chance of mounting another promotion challenge.
Last season Brighton only missed out by goal difference and whilst Rafa Benitez is said to be looking for between three and five more signings, there is clearly going to be a major hurdle in getting rival promotion contenders to sell their best players only days before the season starts – or even the weeks afterwards before the window closes.
Chris Hughton talking to The Argus:
“Good luck to them, they are in a position where they can do that (make offers for star players such as Anthony Knockaert). They’ve bought very well but these are the challenges.
“They have come down with parachute payments, they are a massive club and they are doing their very best to make sure they go straight back up again.
“I don’t feel any way about that. Clubs have to do what they can within what they are capable of financially. If there’s somebody who can do far more than others that’s their prerogative.
“What I think that (turning down offers for Knockaert and others) says is we have an owner who enjoyed what he saw last season and wants us to be challenging again in what will be as tough a season, if not tougher.
“It’s common knowledge there has been interest in some. We certainly want to keep our best players.”