Brighton warn Portsmouth over Poyet

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The Independent Football

Brighton chairman Tony Bloom has issued a hands-off warning to Portsmouth over manager Gus Poyet.

Former Chelsea midfielder Poyet is close to agreeing a new four-year contract at the Withdean Stadium and has also dismissed rumours linking him with a move to Pompey as "total speculation".

Portsmouth have reportedly targeted Poyet in preparation for Avram Grant's possible departure, with West Ham looking for a new manager and believed to be interested in the Israeli.

"Gus is here on a long-term brief. He has pledged his future to the club and we are close to agreeing a new four-year contract for him and (assistant) Mauricio Taricco," Bloom told Brighton's official website,

"The new stadium is only a year away, we want Gus to take us there and he wants to lead us into our new home at Falmer.

"He has done a very good job since coming here as manager in November and I can understand other clubs being interested in his services, but as far as I am concerned he is not available. I want Gus to be here at the Albion for a very long time."

Poyet added: "I'm very happy here at Brighton. There is a big future for the club. We have a great chance to fight for promotion next season so I would not want to go anywhere else.

"I would have to start from scratch again and that is not the right way to do it.

"I can only imagine someone has linked my name to Portsmouth so they can get a great story in the week before their FA Cup final appearance against Chelsea."