Former Albion boss Gus Poyet will have to raise the stakes to re-sign midfield kingpin Liam Bridcutt and injured winger Will Buckley.

The Sunderland chief has tabled bids for both players, The Argus can confirm.

But offers of less than £2.5 million for Bridcutt and in excess of £1 million for Buckley are regarded as derisory by the Seagulls.

Head coach Oscar Garcia is keen to keep hold of the pair, with Albion outside the Championship play-off zone only on goal difference.

Oscar said: “All my squad are important and I want to keep as many players as we can.

“We are trying to have good players and to improve these players but the idea is to keep these players playing for us.”

Poyet’s interest in landing ex-Chelsea prospect Bridcutt to assist Sunderland’s Premier League relegation fight has been on the transfer agenda for some time.

The bid for Buckley is more unexpected, bearing in mind he is out of action for a month with more hamstring trouble, although Poyet never disguised his admiration during his Albion reign for the wide man he bought from Watford for £1 million.

Defender Adam El-Abd is not surprised two of his team-mates have been targeted by their old manager, whose successful tenure at The Amex ended in acrimony in the summer with his sacking for gross misconduct. El-Abd told The Argus: “The boys did well for him and they are good players, so they are going to attract interest.

“Obviously you just hope we keep hold of them but if we can’t it’s up to the group to pull together and make sure we don’t feel the loss of them, because if we do then the team and the club will suffer.”