Date: 22nd August 2016 at 1:31pm
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With manager Chris Hughton speaking post Reading about Dale Stephens working a bit more on his fitness following his lack of game time so far this season, his omission from the Reading match has got media tongues wagging with a suggestion that he refused to play amid speculation linking him with a move to the Premier League and Burnley in particular.

With Brighton reportedly rejecting numerous bids for the player from Burnley and Crystal Palace, Hitc have unnamed sources ‘close to the club’ who say he refused to play because he wants a move.

Now Stephens has never really seemed that kind of player, and there’s not a single nugget in any reports that have stemmed from this suggesting any truth to it whatsoever, but with one year left on his contract, it seems illogical to effectively go on strike and rule yourself out of contention without submitting a transfer request first to push things along.

Hughton himself refuted such suggestions at the full time whistle, but this is the internet and you don’t need facts getting in the way of a good conspiracy do you.

Especially as he played in the last one.

‘One thing I can categorically tell you is he did not refuse to play. Dale has been excellent for us, he’s not that type of individual. He trains hard every day, he’s a very good professional.’

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