Brighton & Hove Albion are reportedly prepared to demand top value for influential midfielder Yves Bissouma with Aston Villa keen on signing the Malian.

According to The Athletic, Brighton & Hove Albion are set to demand £50 million from suitors of Yves Bissouma in the January window, with Aston Villa reportedly chasing the influential midfielder this month.

Graham Potter has overseen a massive improvement throughout the season as Brighton are out there to prove a point to the Premier League’s elites. The manager has guided the club to ninth place so far this term, and many predict he could take them even upwards if the Seagulls maintain their impressive levels.

One player key to this revolution is midfielder Yves Bissouma, whom Potter has relied heavily upon in the past 18 months. The Malian star has been a rock in defensive midfield, as Brighton keep up their impressive defensive record this term.

However, since the club warded off massive interest from clubs across the country last term, they might be subject to an odd bid this month. Aston Villa are reportedly plotting a move for the midfielder in this window, as Steven Gerrard lays down his blueprint for the club.

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Villa have already signed Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona, and Gerrard remains keen on further recruits. The idea is to strengthen the midfield options, although the club has the reliable Douglas Luiz in a similar position to where Bissouma plays.

The big problem with the move could be Brighton’s asking price, set at a reported £50 million, reminiscent of the figure the Seagulls extracted from Arsenal in the summer for Ben White. Bissouma is considered key by Potter and his plans for the season. Hence the high value placed on the midfielder.

The big problem for Brighton is the reducing value the player holds. Bissouma has only 18 months left on his deal with the club, which could see his value plummet in the summer. There is an element of risk attached for the club here, as they might end up losing a significant fee on offer this month.

However, Brighton feel Bissouma is very important to their plans and would only agree to a transfer if suitors like Aston Villa cough up a significant fee. They might be open to a fee slightly less than £50 million, but not overly low. Bissouma is also waiting on other options to arrive, such as the previous interest from an Arsenal or Liverpool.

Despite not signing an extension to his Brighton deal, the player has never publicly said he wants to depart. There might be indications from the 25-year-old over pursuing his career elsewhere, but Aston Villa might be almost at the same level as Brighton under their current predicament.

It remains to be seen if the Villans can pursue Bissouma and Brighton over a move, although the Seagulls losing their influential star to a mid-table club midway through the season would be a blow. Hence they might only do a deal if the price is right.

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