Newcastle's Anthony Knockaert bid rejected by Brighton

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23:   Anthony Knockaert celebrates as team mate Tomer Hemed of Brighton & Hove Albion scores their sides third goal during the Sky
Image: Newcastle have had a bid for Anthony Knockaert rejected

Brighton have rejected a bid from Newcastle United for Anthony Knockaert, according to Sky sources.

Knockaert would be the eighth Newcastle signing of the summer should they make an improved offer.

The former Leicester winger spent the first half of the 2015/16 season with Belgian club Standard Liege, and returned to the Championship with play-off chasers Brighton in January.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton said he would be looking to keep hold of the club's best players during the transfer window, including Knockaert.

"What we expect is lots of speculation," he told Sky Sports News HQ

"It's a consequence of the season we had last season but we want to challenge again, and to be able to challenge again we want a team that is as good as last season and our aim is to keep our best players."

The former France U21 international had an impressive return to the Championship where he scored five goals in 17 appearances.

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Knockaert was at Leicester for three years and fell down the pecking order when the Foxes got promoted to the Premier League, scoring 13 goals in 93 appearances.

Knockaert infamously had a last-minute penalty saved by Manuel Almunia in a Championship play-off semi-final second leg against Watford in 2013, allowing the Hornets to counter-attack and Troy Deeney to score to progress to the final.

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