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Poyet stays cool as Vicente linked with Spain return
GUS POYET last night remained relaxed over the future of his star playmaker – as reports linking Vicente with a return to Spain gathered pace.
Second division Elche are willing to offer the former Valencia man a two-year deal should he engineer a way out of his current commitment with the Seagulls.
Albion have invoked a clause keeping Vicente at The Amex for another season after failing to negotiate a new deal.
The player is thought to be unhappy about that and his agent Victor Oñate met with Albion’s head of football operations David Burke yesterday.
Oñate said he “expressed our position” and hopes to hear back from the Seagulls in the coming days.
Vicente’s team feel Albion went back on a promise not to hold Vicente to the extra year.
Poyet wants to build a team around Vicente and last night said: “At the moment there is nothing strange.
“There are too many rumours in Spain and those rumours don’t help us but nothing has changed.”
Spanish sources insist Elche’s interest is far more than a rumour and that Vicente wants to play for them.
Vicente, whose partner recently gave birth to their second child, remains at home in nearby Valencia awaiting developments.
He was a huge hit at The Amex last season after Albion patiently restored him to full fitness.
However a former colleague has emerged as a key player behind his perceived change of heart.
Fran Escriba took over at Elche recently, his first appointment as head coach.
Escriba was on the coaching staff at Valencia when Vicente was in his prime and gets on well with the player.
Elche are ready to satisfy Vicente’s wage requirements but are unwilling to pay a transfer fee and are relying on Vicente's representatives to find a way out of his current extension.
Meanwhile two of Albion’s home games in the forthcoming season have been rescheduled.
Sheffield Wednesday’s first visit to The Amex will come on Friday September 15 (7.45pm) rather than the following afternoon.
Charlton’s visit has predictably been moved from Easter Monday and will now be played on Tuesday, April 2 (7.45pm).