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 Ex Sunderland and Blackburn transfer target signs new deal at Premier League club following loan comments

Jan Paul van Hecke was a transfer target for Sunderland last summer but has signed a new deal with Premier League club Brighton

Former Sunderland transfer target Jan Paul van Hecke has signed a new contract with Premier League side Brighton.

The 23-year-old was on Sunderland’s radar a year ago, yet the Seagulls opted not to loan the player out for a second successive season.

Van Hecke loaned to Heerenveen

Blackburn were also interested in re-signing van Hecke last summer, after the centre-back made 31 Championship appearances while on loan at Rovers during the 2021/22 campaign.

The Dutchman went on to make eight Premier League appearances for Brighton last season, helping him earn a new deal at the Amex Stadium.

Van Hecke has previously spoken about not wanting to be loaned out again, following spells at Dutch side Breda and Blackburn, stating, ‘ideally, I will become a regular at Brighton.’

“Renting (being loaned out) out is out of the question,” said van Hecke back in March. “That has happened twice, but then you are just acclimatised and you have to leave again. I’m done with that.”

The length of van Hecke’s new contract hasn’t been disclosed by Brighton, with Seagulls boss Roberto De Zerbi saying:”I’m really pleased for JP, and to see an extension of a contract of another important player.

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“Last year he showed all his quality and his potential. He was very important in us achieving our goal.“

While Sunderland were interested in van Hecke last summer, the Black Cats are well-stocked in central defence following the arrivals of Nectarios Triantis and Jenson Seelt.

Danny Batth, Dan Ballard and Luke O’Nien also impressed at centre-back during the last campaign, while Aji Alese, who predominantly played as a left-back last term, can also play in a central position.

 

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