Brighton & Hove Albion’s CEO believes the south coast club have already got an alternative plan in place if they need to sell Kaoru Mitoma, who has been heavily linked with Premier League leaders Arsenal in recent days.
The 25-year-old has been nothing short of impressive during his debut season in the Premier League, racking up seven goals and five assists in 22 appearances.
He has been one of the architects of Brighton’s unlikely European push this term, rapidly becoming one of the best-performing wingers in the best league in the world.
Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich are all rumoured to be monitoring Mitoma’s development ahead of the 2023-24 season.
Meanwhile, Manchester United are the latest team to be linked with the Japan international, who is under contract at the Amex Stadium until June 2025.
While Brighton would like to keep Mitoma for an extended length of his deal, club CEO Paul Barber is not worried about the transfer rumours.
Brighton already working on a replacement for Kaoru Mitoma
Leandro Trossard was used as an example by club CEO Paul as was Kaoru Mitoma, who was ‘present in the building’ when the Belgian star left for Arsenal during the January transfer window.
Thus, now, club’s head of recruitment, Sam Jewell, is ‘already working’ on replacements if Mitoma leaves this summer.
“Mitoma was the one the chairman was most excited about,” said Barber.
“He said to me ‘Paul, this player is special, he could be anything he wants to be in the Premier League’.
On if a team calls in for Mitoma, have they got a replacement lined up, the CEO said: “That’s the job and that’s the challenge. Sam Jewell, the son of Paul Jewell, of course, an experienced Premier League manager himself, is our head of recruitment. Sam is already working on the possibility of losing different players in the squad and that’s his job.”
“A lot of people make the mistake that the transfer window operates from the start of the window until the end of the window. It’s a 365-day-year process, the transfer window.”
“We were able to sell Trossard during the January window to Arsenal, partly because Mitoma was already in the building. One of the other tricks is to make sure you already have somebody in the building, who are there ready to replace the person who is already going out.”
Mitoma is one of several first-team players linked with a move away from the Amex Stadium, with the likes of Moises Caicedo, Alex Mac Allister, and Evan Ferguson all attracting admiring glances from outside clubs.