Gus Poyet suspended by Brighton amid speculation over a switch to Fulham or Everton

Seagulls boss linked to Everton vacancy and Fulham position

Gustavo Poyet's departure from Brighton & Hove Albion moved a step closer when he was suspended by the Championship club along with his assistant, Mauricio Taricco, and first-team coach, Charlie Oatway.

Gustavo Poyet's departure from Brighton & Hove Albion moved a step closer when he was suspended by the Championship club along with his assistant, Mauricio Taricco, and first-team coach, Charlie Oatway.

Sources close to the club have told The Independent that the suspensions are for alleged breaches of contract and not directly related to comments made by Poyet immediately after Monday's 2-0 home defeat by Crystal Palace in the second leg of the Championship play-off semi-final. Within minutes of the final whistle Poyet, 45, who has three years of his contract remaining, said that he would be holding talks with Tony Bloom, the owner, about Brighton's ambition – remarks which were seen as ill-timed and unwelcome both by supporters and those within the club.

"I always said that, during the time we keep improving, I'll be at the football club," Poyet said on Monday. "I need to know whether we've hit the roof or not. Then we'll see. I want us to get better, and as a manager I want to get better. I'm under contract, but we'll see."

However, those remarks would not explain the suspensions of Taricco, a former teammate of Poyet's at Tottenham Hotspur, or Oatway, a long-time club servant and popular former player, who is in the middle of his testimonial year and plans to donate half of the proceeds to the club's community programme. All three were informed of their suspensions by text early on Wednesday evening and have been told to stay away from the Amex Stadium and training ground and have no contact with the players.

A club statement read: "Brighton & Hove Albion has confirmed that it has suspended its manager, assistant manager, and its first-team coach from their duties. The club will now follow its internal procedures with regard to this matter and will make no further comment at this time."

Monday's post-match press conference was not the first occasion on which Poyet had gone public on the fact that Brighton's playing budget was in the bottom half of Championship payrolls. However, although the relative shortage of cash at Brighton was cited in reports of his interest in the Reading job following the dismissal of Brian McDermott in March, The Independent understands that Poyet has also been dissatisfied with other aspects of the belt-tightening at the club in preparation for Financial Fair Play rules that come into effect next season. He is believed to have told the players at a meeting on Tuesday that he could give no guarantees about his future and would not be compiling the retained list, which was released today.

Poyet, nominated for the Championship manager of the month award for April, when Brighton went unbeaten and clinched a play-off berth, will not be short of offers now that, as seems certain, his departure is a matter of when rather than if. He has been linked with the vacant manager's job at Everton as well as posts presently occupied at Fulham and Stoke City. He has also said that he would like to manage Chelsea, where he was a player, and Leeds United, where he was assistant manager to Dennis Wise.

It was after he was sacked at Tottenham along with Juande Ramos, whom he had been assisting, that Brighton gave him his first management job in November 2009. He kept them in League One in his first season, then won the division title in 2010-11 with a style of passing football that drew praise from managers including Harry Redknapp and Arsène Wenger.

This season he took the team to fourth place in the Championship and helped draw the highest average crowds in the division to the Amex Stadium, while also conceding the fewest goals.

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