LIAM Bridcutt’s eagerness to join Sunderland has again been highlighted after the midfielder was left out of the Brighton squad for Saturday’s defeat at Derby.
Bridcutt has been one of Sunderland’s principle targets during the January transfer window after the defensive midfielder worked under Black Cats boss Gus Poyet at Brighton.
The 24-year-old saw a transfer request rejected by the Seagulls earlier this month after Sunderland failed with a bid of around £2m for the former Chelsea youngster.
And Brighton boss Oscar Garcia revealed on Saturday that Bridcutt was not in the right frame of mind to feature against Derby.
Garcia said: “He was available for selection but he spoke with Nathan (Jones, Brighton assistant manager) and he said that maybe he would not be focused on the game 100 per cent.
“A lot of things are happening around him and he was honest, and for this he didn’t play.”
Poyet has already brought left-back Marcos Alonso to the Stadium of Light this month and is on the verge of wrapping up a deal for Argentine centre-half Santiago Vergini.
But the head coach is keen to make further additions, with Bridcutt, plus Brighton team-mate Will Buckley, both on the Uruguayan’s wish-list.
Poyet gave a strong hint that was still the case last week when he told the Gazette that he was looking for domestic signings, as much as he was keen on overseas recruits.
He said: “We are looking everywhere.
“England is part of everywhere and I think the possibility of bringing in a player that is English or British and a foreigner, is exactly the same.
“We try to make sure that we bring in players that have already played in England first, if it is a foreigner.”