Saturday Jul 14, 2018. 09:00
Brighton & Hove Albion are reportedly closing in on a deal to sign Malian midfielder Yves Bissouma from French club Lille.
According to the Daily Mail, Brighton have opened talks over a potential £15million deal for the 21-year-old Mali international, who has been watched by fellow Premier League sides Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham.
Lille reportedly want £17.5million for Bissouma, who has three years remaining on his contract with the Ligue 1 side.
If Brighton complete the transfer at that fee, it would eclipse the £14.5m they paid PSV Eindhoven for Jurgen Locadia in January, making Bissouma their record signing.
Bissouma would be Brighton’s fourth signing of the season, following goalkeeper Jason Steele, Red Bull Leipzig midfielder Bernardo and Romania international striker Florin Andone.
The Malian made 24 appearances for Lille in Ligue 1 last season as they finished just above the relegation zone.
Bissouma joined Lille from AS Real Bamako in 2016 and has gone on to make over 50 appearances across all competitions for the French club.
The central midfielder has also been a part of the Mali team since late 2015 and was part of the Eagles teams at the 2016 African Nations Championship [CHAN] and the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations [AFCON].
In the former competition Bissouma helped Mali finish as runners-up, famously scoring the decisive goal against Ivory Coast in the semifinal.