Brighton chief clarifies transfer position on World Cup sensation Alexis Mac Allister

Brighton chief clarifies transfer position on World Cup sensation Alexis Mac Allister

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber concedes that keeping Alexis MacAllister at the club after his spectacular World Cup performance would be challenging.

Mac Allister was one of the tournament’s stars for victors Argentina and delivered a particularly eye-catching assist in the final for Angel Di Maria’s goal.

He is just 23 years old and has undoubtedly piqued the interest of Europe’s top teams with his performances, and Barber understands what it entails.

“He will be sought after, we’re quite aware of that, but we aim to retain him here as long as we can,” Barber told BBC Sport.

“Of course, when staff and players perform well, as we’ve seen in recent months, they draw the attention of other major teams.

“We recognise and are not ignorant to the fact that they are wealthy teams with the potential to take players to a higher level.

“All we can do is protect ourselves the best we can via the contracts and hope we can hang on to the player for as long as possible, but this is a young guy who has just won the World Cup at 23 and set up possibly one of the most memorable goals in World Cup history.

While the focus was on Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, BBC viewers chose Brighton player Alexis MacAllister, a man of the match in the World Cup final.

That pleased Barber, who believes whoever manages to take the midfielder from Brighton’s hands would acquire a terrific character and a fantastic talent.

“He was chosen player of the match on the BBC website, which is extraordinary for a 23-year-old at his first World Cup, having only just broken into Argentina’s lineup,” added Barber.

“To play at that level and receive an assist as well, a beautiful assist, was a wonderful experience for him, his family, and our team.

“I didn’t talk to him after the game, but I sent a message and didn’t anticipate a response for a minute since I’m sure he was swamped.

“But, as is characteristic of Alexis, the player and the guy, he responded overnight and thanked me and everyone at the club for the good wishes and all of the club’s support in the tournament.

“That’s Alexis; he’s modest, down-to-earth, and comes from a wonderful family. I couldn’t be happier for them; they’re wonderful people who deserve to succeed.”