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Brighton bid for Alex Pritchard hijacked by Norwich City?

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Chris Hughton and the Seagulls might have just gotten GAZUMPED by Norwich.

Sunderland U21 v Tottenham Hotspur U21: Barclays U21 Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Remember that transfer agreement between Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton and Hove Albion for Alex Pritchard we reported on yesterday? Maybe it’s not such a done deal as we thought. The Argus, the Brighton-area regional newspaper that first reported the deal between Albion and Spurs for Pritchard, is now reporting that their agreement has been hijacked by a bid from recently relegated Norwich City.

According to the report, Norwich has issued an “apparent last-ditch illegal approach” for Pritchard, and Brighton won’t be able to compete financially with the Canaries, who are flush with cash from Premier League parachute payments after their relegation last season. Sky Sports, citing their nameless sources, reports something similar.

Spurs had slapped an £8m price tag on Pritchard, which is a rather large figure for a Championship club to put down on a player. Brighton had apparently worked it out so that there was a lower initial cost and a bunch of performance-based escalators. A fresh Norwich bid being accepted by Spurs implies that they’ve equalled or bettered Brighton’s bid, and likely can offer larger wages as well.

I have no idea what The Argus means by an “apparent last-ditch illegal approach,” either. “Tapping up” a player is ostensibly still illegal, but clubs do that all the time and it’s rarely enforced. Regardless, in financial terms a Pritchard bidding war is good news for Tottenham. It might also be a good thing for Alex, too: despite relegation, Norwich should be considered among the early favorites to promote back to the Premier League next season.

We don’t know yet what this all means, but it’s another twist in Alex Pritchard’s tale. All else being equal, this might come down to Pritch’s decision.