Brighton's Paul Barber: 'Evan Ferguson won't be sold for at least five years'

Brighton's Paul Barber: 'Evan Ferguson won't be sold for at least five years'

"Evan Ferguson will not be sold for at least another five years," claims Brighton's chief executive, Paul Barber.

This week, the club agreed to sell Moises Caicedo to Chelsea for a whopping £115 million, setting a new British transfer record, and this likely won't be the last high-profile sale that the club do.

Many anticipate that Ferguson will be the next Brighton gem to be shipped out for a substantial sum. The former Bohemian's player is rapidly emerging as one of the hottest prospects in world football, having scored on the opening weekend of the Premier League in a 4-1 victory over Luton Town.

The sums being discussed for Ferguson's services on social media are expected to surpass Caicedo's price tag. Some speculate that the Irish star will eventually move to one of the bigger clubs; however, according to Barber, that won't be happening for at least another five years.

Ferguson signed a long-term contract with Brighton this year, securing his stay at the club until 2028.

"In Evan's case, at least five years' time! Ultimately, the technical staff are making the key decisions on a player's development—whether they need more first-team games, a loan spell, or if we should consider a trade earlier or later," he stated during an interview on TalkSport.

"It's going to be a collective decision, driven by the technical staff. We're relying on them to make those judgments regarding a player's progress.

Barber also believes that retaining a young talent like Ferguson within the club is far more beneficial. When it comes to the financial aspect, he and Tony Bloom, the owner of Brighton, will formulate a plan for players like Ferguson, when the time comes to sell him.

"There are times when it's better for us to keep a player in and around our first-team group, training with us, and making occasional appearances from the bench or in cup games. Other times, it's more suitable for them to go out on loan to Europe, or sometimes it's better for them to remain in this country and go on loan, where we can closely monitor their progress.

"Decisions like these, Tony (owner Tony Bloom) and I leave to the technical staff. We only get involved when financial decisions are being made and to determine the next steps. But it's a joint effort, a team effort—just as much off the pitch as on it."

Brighton's upcoming match will be against Wolves on Saturday.