Newcastle to switch targets after Brighton offer Anthony Knockaert new deal

Anthony Knockaert
Anthony Knockaert

Newcastle United target Anthony Knockaert is set to stay at Brighton and Hove Albion.

The £10million-rated winger was the subject of a sizeable bid from the club last month.

But the offer was rejected by Newcastle's Championship rivals.

And Brighton are ready to offer the 24-year-old – who signed a three-and-a-half-year deal when he joined from Standard Liege in January – a new contract in a bid to keep him at the Amex Stadium.

United manager Rafa Benitez admitted it would be "tough" to sign Knockaert earlier this month, and the Gazette understands the club is now pursuing other targets.

Asked on BBC Radio Newcastle about Knockaert, Benitez said: "We know that will not be easy.

"It will be tough to convince them. Normally, you try and if you cannot (sign a player), you move on."

Brighton narrowly missed out on automatic promotion last season.

And manager Chris Hughton – who guided Newcastle to promotion in the 2009-10 season – wants to keep his squad intact.

"What we expect is lots of speculation,” said Hughton.

"It’s a consequence of the season we had last season, but we want to challenge again.

“And to be able to challenge again, we want a team that is as good as last season and our aim is to keep our best players.”

United are looking to sign a winger and a striker before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

The club also hope to sign Everton defender Brendan Galloway on a season-long loan.