ALBION will continue to scour the foreign market for their Premier League squad strengthening in search of better value after completing a European hat-trick with the capture of Markus Suttner.

The 30-year-old ex-Austrian international left-back has joined former Ingolstadt team-mate Pascal Gross at the Seagulls, whose other signing so far was Australian No.1 Maty Ryan from Valencia.

Chief executive Paul Barber told The Argus: “English and British players have always been bought and sold at a premium. That’s the nature of the market.

“Our belief is our scouting network and the work we do in the months leading up to transfer windows gives us a good perspective of the global market and the European market in particular.

“We feel we’ve got a very good handle on the European market. It’s no coincidence the first three signings have been from outside the UK. That is not to say we won’t consider UK signings – of course we will – but it’s not easy and very expensive.”

The signing of Suttner, who has called time on his international career to concentrate on club football, followed weeks of haggling with relegated German Bundesliga club Ingolstadt over the fee.

The Argus understands their original asking price was £4-£5 million, Albion’s opening offer was £2.5 million, and agreement was eventually reached at around £3 million.

Barber, who refused to discuss figures, said: “This is the market we’re in. It’s tough, the prices are high and Premier League club prices are inflated as a matter of routine.

“I would expect all the others we’ve got to do (signings) as similar. We’re not bothered by external pressure. Fans expect signings to be made yesterday, that’s not the way it works. Good players will have multiple suitors and they are not in a rush.

“These things take time. We’ve got our targets, we’ve been working on them for many months, we’re not going to be distracted. We’ve still got the best part of two months of the transfer window to go. Let’s not get panicky.”

Suttner and the rest of the squad out in Austria will have 45 minutes each in tonight’s opening pre-season friendly against Bundesliga second division side Fortuna Dusseldorf (5pm), with the exception of Sam Baldock.

The striker has sat out this week’s training camp in Leogang with a minor calf problem.

Boss Chris Hughton said: “It’s taken a little bit longer than we thought. We are expecting Sam to train early next week once we are back. He has done some good (rehab) work here.

“There are two things we are looking for tonight, 45 minutes of competitive football and no injuries. They are by far the most important.”