Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Anthony Knockaert is still wanted by manager Graham Potter, despite Fulham showing interest.
According to The Argus, Fulham have made contact with Albion to notify the club of their interest in the French wide-man, yet there hasn’t been an offer tabled by the club.
The 27-year-old – who is valued at £7.25million by Transfermarkt – played in the opening friendly in their Austrian pre-season tour, playing in the second half of a 5-2 win vs FC Liefering.
The Sun are reporting that Fulham want Knockaert for £15million as they try to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
When Potter was asked by The Argus about whether he wants Knockaert, he said it was out of his hands, but that he wants all of the players on tour with him available.
He said: “As a coach your mind is on just working with the guys that you’ve got but I also know that it’s football, that there are things that are sometimes out of my control and I have to respect that. But he’s been great to work with and he’s done his best every day.
“Working with him the last two weeks he has given everything every day, really professional.
“We can see his quality – that’s clear. It’s that time of year, of course, when there’s lots of news and speculation.
“From my perspective, I just work with the players we have and try to help them get better.”
The Sun have reported that money will not be a problem for Fulham and that they will also be willing to increase his wages, believed to be at £40,000 a week.
Fulham are short in attacking positions following the departures of Andre Schurrle and Ryan Babel as they prepare for a return to the Championship. Indeed, Knockaert has a fantastic record in the second-tier with both Leicester and Brighton, playing 148 games, scoring 33 goals and assisting a further 29 times, according to Transfermarkt.
Still, Brighton are not willing to part with him, considering his impact.
He makes 1.2 key passes a game and only Solly March and Pascal Gross average better, with 1.2 and 2.2 respectively, according to WhoScored. In fact, he has the third-highest amount of average dribbles per game with 1 and is the leading assist provider at the club with 6.
For a team who lacked so much creativity last year, he was often the man to bring it, and while they have bought a winger in Leandro Trossard they still need quality in attacking areas, after scoring just 35 goals over the course of last season.
Even if he is not considered in the side’s best 11 all the time (he started 18 of his 30 appearances last season), the technical ability he possesses is clearly up there with the best in the squad judging by his aforementioned stats and where they stand, so could be crucial in helping develop the ‘attractive playing style’ chairman Tony Bloom spoke about when appointing Potter.
Someone to take the game to the opposition – as his impressive dribbling record would attest to – he does look to have the tools to fit in.
Brighton fans, would you allow Knockaert to leave? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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