Brighton manager Graham Potter has insisted defender Marc Cucurella remains happy at the club amid interest from Manchester City.
City are looking to replace Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has joined Arsenal, and Pep Guardiola is keen to strike a deal for Barcelona academy graduate Cucurella, who is primarily a left-back but impressed in a central role last season.
Indeed, an opening bid for Cucurella was swiftly turned down by Brighton, who remain keen to keep hold of the Spaniard - a feeling clearly shared by fans who were chanting his name in the recent friendly victory over Reading.
When asked by The Argus about how Cucurella is coping with the speculation, Potter responded: “Yes, he’s happy. It’s not easy because there’s speculation and these things.
“He is a human being and that is the challenge with footballers. When the window is open, you get linked with this and that.
“It is what it is. We have a lot of respect for Marc and we like him a lot and we are just helping him enjoy his football.”
City manager Pep Guardiola recently confessed that talks were on with Brighton over Cucurella but insisted the Premier League champions are prepared to walk away from negotiations if a price cannot be agreed.
"We are in negotiations. If it doesn't happen, we have alternatives: [Joao] Cancelo, [Josh] Wilson-Esbrand is a young talent, [Nathan] Ake can play there," the City boss stressed.