Albion are closing in on Charlton midfielder Dale Stephens as a replacement for the injured Andrew Crofts.

The Argus understands a deal to take Stephens from South London to the South Coast is at an advanced stage.

Stephens was booked and substituted 11 minutes from the end of ten-man Charlton’s 3-0 defeat at Doncaster last night.

The Bolton-born 26-year-old is out of contract at The Valley at the end of the season.

He has been with Charlton since signing from Oldham in 2011 and Aston Villa tried to buy him two summers ago. The Seagulls need to cater for the absence for the rest of the season of the free-scoring Crofts. Albion’s energetic Wales international suffered a ruptured cruciate keen ligament in the recent home game against Birmingham.

Albion assistant head coach Nathan Jones told The Argus last night: “I know Dale very, very well (from his time at Charlton).

“It would be wrong for me to comment. Things are ongoing with the club in terms of targets.

“It would be wrong for me to comment on anyone. Those things will probably materialise in the next 24 to 48 hours and hopefully we will be in a strong position come 11 o’clock on Friday to kick on.”

Meanwhile, reports in the North East yesterday were linking Albion with Sunderland striker Connor Wickham as a makeweight in their hopes to land Liam Bridcutt and Will Buckley.