Nicky Forster has left Albion with a “heavy heart” after linking back up with Phil Parkinson at Charlton.

The Seagulls’ 16-goal top scorer joined Parkinson’s League One promotion-chasers for the rest of the season in a hectic climax to the loan transfer window.

Forster’s departure, and Albion’s capture of Plymouth’s 20-year-old striker Ashley Barnes on loan for the remainder of the campaign, were both sealed shortly before yesterday’s 5pm deadline.

The last-ditch business followed the arrival hours earlier of 31-year-old goalkeeper Danny Naisbitt from Histon as cover for Peter Brezovan.

Forster has been out-of-favour since making public a contract dispute with manager Gus Poyet at the end of January.

The 36-year-old is out of contract in the summer but, in common with other players, was told by Poyet new deals would not be discussed until League One safety had been secured.

Forster was dropped from the squad until clarifying his stance but it has been an uneasy truce and he has only started one of the last ten matches, ironically against Charlton.

He said: “First and foremost I’m disappointed, because originally I wanted to extend my time and move on into the management side of things.

“I needed to get some kind of security. Football is an insecure job in many ways, you are very much a commodity.

“I didn’t get any security and felt at the time I needed to look at other options. It is with a heavy heart that I have finally left but the offer came along and it was too good to turn down.

“I have known Phil for a number of years at Reading and he took me to Hull. This gives me an opportunity to play, which I haven’t been doing of late, and to perhaps earn something for next season.

“There were a couple of offers on the table from clubs lower down in the league which were giving me some security for next season but the club thought they were in direct competition, so they didn’t want to entertain those, which I understand.”

Forster scored 51 goals in 119 games for Albion after signing from Hull for £75,000 in 2007, the last of them from the penalty spot as a substitute against Brentford at Withdean ten days ago.

He added: “The one thing that I’ll miss is that I made a lot of friends at Brighton. I was described as a veteran striker when I joined and it gave me a new lease of life.

“I’ve had three years of enjoyable football. The fans have been absolutely outstanding to me and I am glad I applauded them after my goal a week or so ago.”

Poyet said: “We really wish him all the best. He did quite well for the team, he has been scoring goals for the club, he had a good relationship with the fans.

“He wanted to move on, because of getting close to the end of his contract and not having the chance to play every game.

“This opportunity is a great opportunity for him, because Charlton are going to be close to promotion or in the play-offs for sure.

“You need to look after your team but also your players, because football is not forever. We thank him for everything he has done and wish him all the best.”