Brighton & Hove Albion are reportedly poised to take advantage of Liverpool and Everton's hesitancy and win the race for Ezri Konsa, although Karl Robinson insists that Charlton Athletic are still yet to receive any bids for the talented young defender.
The Sun claimed on Thursday (25 January) that the Seagulls were ready to secure an £8m ($12.1m) deal for Konsa as cover for first-choice centre-backs Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy, with earlier reports suggesting that Liverpool and Everton were unwilling to match the current valuation of a player they have been watching with interest.
The Merseyside rivals both have recent history when it comes to signing highly-rated youngsters from Charlton, with Brendan Rodgers bringing versatile defender Joe Gomez to Anfield for a £3.5m fee in 2015 and Ronald Koeman swooping to secure an £11m deal for exciting forward Ademola Lookman last January.
Addicks boss Robinson stated in November that he had a "gut feeling" academy graduate Konsa, an Under-20 World Cup winner with England in South Korea in June, would be sold this month, insisting the League One promotion hopefuls should be demanding at least £5m and expressing hope that they might be able to arrange an immediate loan return.
He reiterated that he still expected plenty of interest in the 20-year-old during a press conference held before Saturday's [21 January] trip to Blackpool, but revealed that Charlton had yet to field any official approaches with less than a week to go before the end of the mid-season transfer window.
"There are going to be a number of people chasing him," he said when quizzed about that interest from Liverpool, Everton and Brighton, per the Evening Standard. "The last five games he has been outstanding. There are going to be a lot of people circling around him.
"He is young, he is English and he has an amazing future ahead of him but we have had no bids for him."
Chris Hughton remained coy on Brighton's transfer business during his own media call on Thursday [25 January] amid reports that they have been told to dramatically improve their disappointing £8m bid for Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and also seen a £6m offer for towering centre-back Aden Flint rebuffed by Championship outfit Bristol City.
However, he did confirm that he was looking to secure a deal for a defender that would allow Connor Goldson to go out on loan.
Hughton also admitted that a permanent move to Fulham for Craven Cottage loanee Oliver Norwood is a possibility after Brighton were rumoured to have rejected an offer that fell well short of their valuation of the Northern Ireland midfielder.