Andrea Orlandi last night told of his surprise at being let go by Albion.
Orlandi and Tomasz Kuszczak were shock names on a list of six players told they were free to go.
David Lopez, David Rodriguez, Peter Brezovan and the unfortunate Will Hoskins are also being released.
But the Seagulls are believed to be keen on Grasshoppers midfielder Toko Nzuzi as they plan for a summer of change at the Amex.
Albion do not plan to make signings until a new manager has been appointed in place of Oscar Garcia, who resigned on Monday.
Matt Upson, Inigo Calderon, Bruno and Casper Ankergren have been offered deals and an option to keep Kazenga LuaLua has been activated.
Orlandi was confident a similar option would be taken up to keep him at the club for a third season after he rushed back from a thigh injury to play in the final four games of the campaign.
The playmaker, who signed from Swansea City on deadline day in August 2012, admitted: “It is hard for me to leave. I wasn’t expecting that. It is a really sad day for me.
“It has been a decision by the people at the club and you have to respect that.
“There is nothing I can do really now.
“I cannot thank the fans enough. I am really sorry this season I haven’t been able to perform as I did before because of injuries.
“Last year was probably the best football I’ve played. I’d always like people to remember me for that more than for my last game.”
Orlandi could continue his career back in Spain. He said: “We didn’t have anything lined up because we thought Brighton wanted to take up the option.
“I’d love to stay in England but I think there are some options in Spain as well.
“I don’t close any doors and we will see what happens.”
Meanwhile David Lopez has options in Spain, where he previously starred for Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao, although he has not ruled out staying in England.
Young frontrunner Brennan Dickenson is also being kept on by Albion but fellow under-21 squad members Grant Smith and Courtney Richards have been released.