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Brighton and Hove Albion have rejected an attempt by Fulham to turn Oliver Norwood’s season-long loan at Craven Cottage into a permanent move, according to a Sky Sports report this evening.

The Northern Ireland international has become an integral part of Slavisa Jokanovic’s first-team squad since joining the Cottagers loan in July. The 26 year-old has made 28 appearances for Fulham as the Whites have suffered injuries to all three of the central midfielders who made such an impression as they reached the Championship play-offs last season. The former Manchester United trainee has ably deputised for Tom Cairney, who has seen his campaign disrupted by a troublesome knee injury so far, and has taken over the previously poisoned chalice of Fulham penalty taker, scoring three times for the spot.

Norwood, whose most recent penalty secured a precious three points at Middlesbrough eleven days ago, has scored a total of five goals from midfield and is believed to be enjoying life in London. He believes that regular football is vital to retaining his international spot under Michael O’Neill, but Brighton are unwilling to lose the midfielder who played a pivotal role in their rise to the top flight unless Fulham were willing to exceed their £8m valuation.