Brighton chairman confirms Norwich City’s interest in Bennett

Brighton chairman Tony Bloom insists they have no need to sell winger Elliott Bennett – after rejecting an approach from Norwich City.

The 22-year-old former Wolves forward has been a star performer for the League One leaders and scored in Saturday's 3-1 home win against Peterborough.

But Bloom has told manager Gus Poyet he does not have to sell any player, after confirming the Canaries had expressed an interest in Bennett.

He said it was the only official inquiry so far this January and added that the approach was not welcomed.

Bloom told the club's official website: 'There has been interest from Norwich, but we do not want Elliott to go anywhere, and we have made that clear to them.

'Elliott is a key part of the squad, which is why we recently gave him a new three-and-a-half-year contract. He has been superb for the club since he came here, and we are not surprised he is attracting interest from a club in a higher division.'

Telford-born Bennett signed a three-year deal with Brighton when he moved from Molineux in 2009 and has made 76 first team appearances, scoring 13 goals. He has been responsible for no fewer than 20 assists this season.

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He is one player Brighton are desperate not to lose and Poyet said at the weekend: 'We don't want to sell and we are going to fight to keep him.'

Bloom said he would not be surprised if bids came in for other players, but warned clubs he had no plans to sell any of Albion's key men.

He said: 'We have to be pragmatic. If you are top of the table, then other clubs in higher divisions are going to be attracted to your players.

'That is part of football and is to be expected. But we don't welcome it, and do not intend to, nor need to, sell any of our best players.

'We are trying to build something big here at the club. Our aim this season is to win promotion to the Championship. We are currently in a great position to do that and we want to do everything we can to maintain that momentum.

'Our supporters know I am not a fan of doing business in the January window. Saying that, we are looking to strengthen our squad even more this month if we are able to recruit a player who brings different qualities to what we already have in the team.'