Hughton Dismisses Dembele Speculation
Brighton manager Chris Hughton has dismissed reports suggesting that the club have opened talks with Celtic over striker Moussa Dembele.
Sky Sports reported last month that talks were at an advanced stage between both clubs and speculated that a fee of around £18million had been agreed for his services, but both clubs rejected that and speaking to the press ahead of this weekend's FA Cup third round tie against Crystal Palace, Hughton again rubbished the speculation.
'There has been huge speculation, certainly on this particular one. There were some quotes, going back a little while ago, concerning figures and communication between the two clubs. Categorically, there has not been any communication between the two clubs. He is just a name along with lots of other names.'
Pressed further on whether there would be contact even if reports of earlier contact had been incorrect, Hughton went on to say.
'Pure speculation is probably the only way to describe it. If I talk about players the club might have an interest in, there would be numerous names. This is one name that has been consistently linked, there could be numerous others. We will continue to work as hard as we can on anyone we might want to bring in.'
Hughton also addressed speculation about a potential departure for centre half Lewis Dunk, with reports recently linking him tentatively with Liverpool.
'That would be a huge surprise to me. Lewis has been magnificent for us, certainly during my period of time here. He has improved as a player and we have a chairman who has resisted any temptation of him not being here during that period. I fully expect him to be a Brighton player come the end of January.'