Christian Walton wants to press his claims to rise up Albion’s goalkeeping pecking order amid interest from the Premier League.
The teenage prospect is keen to grab the opportunity of a more prominent role with the Seagulls under new boss Sami Hyypia following his breakthrough with England under-19s.
Walton’s father, Tim, has confirmed interest from Arsenal and Manchester City after an eye-catching first season with Albion for his son culminated in a hat-trick of appearances for England’s youngsters in their failed attempt to qualify for the European Championship finals in Hungary.
Walton senior, speaking to the Cornish Guardian, said: “A number of clubs have been watching Christian. Arsenal are one and we know Manchester City are keen.
“He did extremely well in his three games for England, which has attracted interest.”
The Argus understands, however, that Walton would prefer to continue his education with Albion, as they can offer the 18-year-old a more realistic and speedier route to the first team.
Walton was fourth choice last season after Albion fought off interest from several clubs, including Fulham, to sign him from Plymouth Argyle 16 months ago for an undisclosed fee.
He was on the bench as cover for Peter Brezovan for games against Leicester and Middlesbrough when first choice Tomasz Kuszczak and Casper Ankergren were both injured.
His chances of further involvement have improved dramatically with the departures at the end of the season of Kuszczak and Brezovan.
Ankergren, regarded as a good influence in the dressing room, has been retained leaving Walton, with two years remaining on his contract, to fight it out with the veteran Dane to deputise for the new No. 1 installed by Hyypia.