Paul Barber has explained why Albion issued an “unprecedented” statement about Marc Cucurella.

The defender’s immediate future remains unconfirmed although he is expected to join Chelsea in a deal likely to be worth more than £50 million.

On Wednesday evening, Albion replied to what they termed “inaccurate reports from numerous media outlets” and said no agreement had been reached with any club.

The deal was reported as "done" at that time with Levi Colwill said to be heading to the Seagulls on a permanent deal with a buy-back clause.

Barber, the club’s chief executive and deputy chairman, said on Thursday evening: “We are under no pressure to sell anyone.

“We don’t want to sell Marc in an ideal world but we are also realistic about players’ ambitions and, in certain situations, if our valuation is met, we will respect that ambition.

“We certainly don’t want to leave Graham (Potter, head coach)with a weaker squad than he would like.

“It’s an ongoing process.

“It has been a busy week, it has certainly been a busy day.

“What we won’t allow at any time is the media to run away with a situation which isn’t true.

“When we see breaking news that we have sold a player when we actually haven’t agreed a deal, then we will step in and stop that.

“That’s more than a rumour. That is giving you guys a very misleading impression that a piece of business is done when it isn’t.

“It’s not often that I authorise a statement like that but when I do it’s serious.

“Last night wasn’t good and it’s not fair and we won’t allow that to happen.”

Barber was speaking at a fans forum live on BBC Radio Sussex and Albion’s YouTube platform.

He joked he was checking Twitter as he started his answer.

Cucurella is not expected to play at Manchester United on Sunday as Albion open their Premier League season.