Hughton responds to rumours linking Brighton with Celtic striker and Spartak Moscow forward

Celtic striker Moussa Dembele
Celtic striker Moussa Dembele
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Brighton boss Chris Hughton refused to be drawn on speculation linking the club with Celtic striker Moussa Dembele and Spartak Moscow forward Ze Luis this afternoon.

Reports in Scotland earlier this month suggested the Seagulls were preparing a £20m bid for 21-year-old Celtic star Dembele, who has scored 40 goals for the club since joining from Fulham in July, 2016.

Ze Luis, 26, was a name linked with Albion earlier this week and Hughton was asked about both players in his press conference before Saturday's match with Watford.

On Dembele, Hughton said: "He's a very good player and has had a very good season but he's not our player.

"He's one of probably 100 names you could mention that if I had an opportunity to want them, then you probably would. But he's not our player, like anyone else you could throw into the mix."

Albion's boss was then asked about Ze Luis and responded: "I do know him, while lots of people in the game might not.

"He's a name, one of however many you want to mention, that could be thrown in.

"We'll work as hard as we can in this period of time leading into January.

"If anything happens in January, it will happen because it is right and the processes leading into it would be right."

Brighton broke their transfer record three times in the summer and Hughton was asked if the club would have to spend more in January than the reported £13.5m they paid out for Jose Izquierdo in the summer.

He said: "I'm not sure. There was a huge increase this summer in the value of players - not just strikers.

" I'm quite sure the valuations in players will not be going down in this period of time, so it's the same for anybody in this division.

"Anybody that might move from one club to another, whether that's from an English club to another English club, or a foreign club to an English club, the values will be what they were in the summer, if not more."