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Sunderland Given Hope In Race For Midfielder

Brighton's manager Oscar Garcia explains Liam Bridcutt's absence from yesterday's game against Derby County.

Bridcutt in action against Arsenal
Bridcutt in action against Arsenal
Mike Hewitt

After Sunderland made their interest in Brighton's Liam Bridcutt public when they had a bid of £2.5m rejected by the South coast club, it appears our interest and Brighton's reluctance to sell has unsettled the player.

According to Brighton's manager, Oscar Garcia, Bridcutt was fit and available to play against Derby County but then explained the reason he was missing from the match day squad;

He [Bridcutt] was available for selection but he spoke with Nathan [Jones, assistant manager] and he said that maybe he would not be focused on the game.

A lot of things are happening around him and he was honest and for this he didn't play.

Garcia was then asked if there had been another bid from Sunderland, but was unable to answer that definitively;

That's a question for the club, not for me.

The sooner we solve this [Bridcutt situation] the better it will be for the team.

This comes after Bridcutt recently had a transfer request rejected by Brighton, so the player is clearly pushing for a move. Expect Sunderland to make another push for the midfielder in the coming days, particularly as Poyet has gone on record to say how important Bridcutt was to his Brighton side and his recent comments about signing players from Britain.

Stay tuned to Roker Report throughout January as we keep you up to date with his and all other transfer news and rumours. Also, feel free to keep in touch with our dedicated Transfer Centre, which you can do by CLICKING HERE.