The transfer saga surrounding Brighton’s Spanish star Vicente seems no closer to ending.
Brighton fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when the club announced it was activating a clause in the playmaker’s contract, tying him to The Amex for another 12 months.
And with Gus Poyet adding his former Valencia teammate Bruno to his squad for the coming season, it looked like the last pieces of the Vicente jigsaw were falling into place.
However, it soon became apparent that the mercurial Spaniard’s future was not as certain as it initially seemed.
Poyet had previously said he would not insist on the extra year unless it was something his player agreed to and the club’s decision to back-track on that original pledge annoyed Vicente and his agent, Victor Oñate.
The creative midfielder is believed to have rejected a new, revised two year contract, and the two parties are now at loggerheads, despite Brighton chairman Tony Bloom telling fans only last month he expected Vicente to report back for training.
He has remained in Spain and Oñate says his client will not return until the situation is resolved, while Poyet says he is in no rush to sort it out. Vicente is currently not being paid by the Albion and is believed to be disgruntled at the club’s u-turn in regard to enforcing the contract extension.
To add to the increasingly complicated situation, Vicente is now wanted by Spanish second tier outfit, who are managed by one of his friends and the team’s chairman has publicly said he wants to sign Vicente by the time the team starts pre-season.
Brighton fans have not given up hope of seeing their star at The Amex this coming season, although online forums have been flooded with supporters saying the club should cash in on Vicente is he wants to be elsewhere. Many fans suspect the club activated the extension to either scare off clubs looking for a free signing or to make sure the Seagulls get some money for a player they invested a lot of medical time and attention on last season.
Poyet has also moved to reassure fans that the on-going Vicente saga is not derailing his team building plans after a mooted flurry of new signings failed to materialize.
One player who definitely looks to be on his way out of The Amex is defensive prospect Grant Hall. The centre back, who has been linked with a move to Premier League Tottenham, has left a new contract unsigned.
Under league rules Brighton would be due compensation if he signs for someone else because he is under 24 and was developed by the Albion.