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Albion move to keep Vicente but can't agree new deal
The Seagulls last night issued a brief statement to announce they were taking up their one-year option on the former Valencia playmaker.
Poyet expects him to return in time for Monday, when pre-season training resumes in earnest.
The Albion boss said in April Vicente would not be held to the extra year but has put a change in tack down to the club’s efforts to agree new terms.
Vicente dazzled in the Championship last season after signing in September for the remainder of the campaign with the club retaining an option for the following year.
Albion were hoping to make a big announcement about his future this summer.
Instead, amid little fanfare, they last night reported they had exercised that option.
Second-tier Spanish sides Elche and Villarreal both want to sign Vicente, who would have been out of contract this weekend.
Now Albion have extended that agreement until June 30, 2013, and say they look forward to him teaming up with close friend and former Valencia colleague Bruno, who met the media at The Amex yesterday.
Poyet said: “We were trying to negotiate a new contract and unfortunately we couldn’t agree so we needed to activate the option. That is common sense.
“We want Vicente to play for the club.
“There is a contract signed and we wanted to offer him a new one.
“We could have exercised the option on the day we finished the league last season and then renegotiated it.
“We did it this way around because we thought we had a great chance to negotiate the new contract by now.
“It’s a timing thing more than anything else.
“It would have been amazing to say ‘Vicente is staying and he has signed a new contract’.
“Instead it didn’t happen so we have to say the other news which is still amazing – but not as amazing as everybody would have liked!”
Asked if he expected to see Vicente at training next week, Poyet replied: “Of course. Why not?”
The Albion boss admits Bruno’s arrival is no guarantee his former Valencia colleague will follow.
The Seagulls boss added: “We will see what happens in the next few days."