Brighton chief digs in over World Cup star as Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool urged to look elsewhere

Moises Caicedo, Leandro Trossard and Alexis Mac Allister Credit: Alamy
Moises Caicedo, Leandro Trossard and Alexis Mac Allister Credit: Alamy

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber insists he will not welcome any interest in Alexis Mac Allister this January but knows he is likely to receive enquiries.

Mac Allister, 24, has come into his own during the past few seasons with the Seagulls. The Argentina international has made 86 appearances in all competitions, scoring 13 goals. He has been on the books since January 2019 but broke through into the first team during the 2020-2021 campaign.

And his exploits at the Amex Stadium saw him rewarded with a call-up to the Argentina national side.

He featured heavily at the recent World Cup, playing 116 minutes of the final as Argentina beat France on penalties.

Unsurprisingly, the vultures have started to circle, with Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all said to be keen.

And it would surprise nobody to see any of the quartet launch a bid for the South American. But Barber has made it clear that he wants no changes to manager Roberto De Zerbi’s group.

“In an ideal world our squad, which is as good as it has been for a long time, will remain intact through the whole of January and we will go into the second half of the season as we are,” he said, via The Argus.

“The next 30-odd days is unpredictable and we will deal with whatever comes in. But we are not offering anyone to anyone.”

Brighton expecting Mac Allister interest

Mac Allister was loaned back to Argentinos Juniors after his initial move to Brighton. He was then farmed out to Boca Juniors for 2019-20, making 20 appearances and scoring twice.

However, after enjoying 36 outings for the south-coast outfit last term, the talented schemer is now a first-team regular.

The club is braced for enquiries about the man from Santa Rosa. But Barber insists he has not had any contact with clubs over the star.

“No – and we don’t want any. We are quite happy as we are, certainly for as long as we can be,” he added.

“But we are also realistic. Alexis Mac Allister has just won a World Cup at 23 years of age and has had a fantastic season with us.

“We know there is going to be interest in Alexis.”

Barber prepared for Brighton exits

Brighton have enjoyed a stellar start to the campaign despite the defection of Graham Potter to Chelsea. They sit eighth in the table with 24 points from 16 games played.

Saturday’s 4-2 home loss to Arsenal was a setback but it is no disgrace to lose to Mikel Arteta’s high-flyers at present.

It has been a collective effort from the group. And Barber is happy that he has players in the squad that top clubs are looking at.

“We know Moises Caicedo is one of the top talents,” he continued.  “We know Rob Sanchez is one of the world’s best young goalkeepers.

“This is normal, this is the world we wanted to operate in and this is the world we are operating in.

“We can’t be surprised when there is interest and at some point we have to accept that these players will go on to play at an even higher level than ours.”

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