Date: 25th August 2015 at 6:04pm
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Brighton late last night ended all speculation about the departure of Lewis Dunk as the player signed a new deal that would run until the summer of 2020.

The 23 year old Academy graduate’s future had been up in the air this summer with reported bids in from Fulham and possibly another club as reported at points, but that is all over following the signing of a new five year deal.

Speaking to the Official Site after penning the new contract, the player explained that it had been a strange and difficult time of late, but he was happy to put it behind him and focus on his football again.

‘I am absolutely delighted to commit my long-term future to the club. I know there has been a lot of speculation, but I have been with this club for a long time and genuinely had little desire to go anywhere else. The manager and club made it clear that they see me as an important part of the club’s future, and seeing that desire to keep me here at the club made it an easy decision in the end. The constant speculation in the media was something new and something I am not really used to, but I am pleased to put it behind me and be able to concentrate on my football again. My focus now is to help the club continue the excellent start we have made to the new season, and ultimately to help Brighton & Hove Albion achieve the club’s aim of playing football in the Premier League.’

A very pleased manager, Chris Hughton, said himself following the deal that it was the perfect outcome for all concerned as it was never our intention to let him go this window in any event.

‘We made it clear to Lewis and that both the club and I saw him as a key player for us and a big part of this club’s future. For me, as manager, what is really encouraging was the desire shown by the club to extend his contract – given the level of interest from elsewhere. We have made it consistently clear throughout this transfer window that we wanted to keep hold of our best players, and I know that isn’t always easy when clubs with much bigger resources than ours express an interest in our players.’

Hughton went on to say that the plan clearly was to build a nucleous that could serve us well in the long term future and Dunk is a huge part of that in his eyes, so with the club making those efforts to get him on a new long term deal, he couldn’t be more thankful to the board and chairman for doing that given the speculation and interest in him.

‘Lewis has been fantastic for me from the first moment I came into the football club, and with the additions in that area it means we are now very strong in the defensive part of the squad and team.’

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