Craig Mackail-Smith has urged Leo Ulloa to stay with Albion so they can forge a partnership.

Mackail-Smith is keen to join forces with the Argentinean hitman under new boss Sami Hyypia.

The Seagulls have rejected three bids from Premier League newcomers Leicester City for Ulloa.

Crystal Palace tried to buy him last season and Ulloa has also been linked with Sunderland.

The players start pre-season training on Monday after completing medical tests today and Hyypia will have talks with Ulloa about his future.

Mackail-Smith is desperate for the target man to stay after limited chances to play alongside him when Gus Poyet and Oscar Garcia were in charge.

Mackail-Smith, who was sidelined by injury for 13 months, and Ulloa have only ever started one game together and only been on the pitch together for a total of 214 minutes.

Mackail-Smith said: “Leo Ulloa is massive for us and I’m not surprised he’s being linked with big clubs in the Premier League.

“He was our top goal scorer last season and has led the line brilliantly. It’s important we keep hold of him and hopefully we can build and put a team around him.

“I’d really like to actually get an opportunity to play alongside him. I’ve been here almost three years, he’s been here a couple, and we’ve only played together about twice. It would be nice to get a partnership going.

“Along with Leo it’s important to add a few new faces and the gaffer will do that, especially with the great links he has around the game.

“Hopefully we’ll have a strong squad and go better than we did in the play-offs last season.”