CHRIS HUGHTON insists Brighton & Hove Albion FC will fight to keep Tomer Hemed at Amex Stadium after 'turning down a £4m bid from Reading FC'.

The Albion boss admitted he was not surprised when Jaap Stam made an approach for the Israeli forward, who has scored 33 goals in 78 appearances for the Seagulls.

"Tomer, if anything, has come back in really good shape," stated Hughton.

"I thought he was good again.

“If I’m looking at the options we’ve got at the moment, particularly with Sam Baldock being injured, we’ve got two out-and-out strikers, Glenn (Murray) and Tomer.

"We need everyone that we’ve got.”

Royals have already added Icelandic forward Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to their strike force after veteran forward Yann Kermorgant was ruled out for the start of the season following hip and groin surgery.

However, Dominic Samuel and Deniss Rakels have both moved away from Berkshire, leaving Stam short of options upfront.

Hemed was one of the names linked with a switch to Madejski Stadium and Stam was willing to pay up to £4m, according to the Brighton Argus.

Hughton also told the Argus: “There has been interest in our players and the only reason for that is because they’ve done well, so it’s never a surprise.

"It’s probably testament to what these lads have achieved in the two plus years I’ve been here."

Meanwhile Royals have also been linked with a loan swoop for West Ham United youngster Ashley Fletcher.

The centre forward is thought to be keen on a loan spell away from London Stadium after the Hammers secured the services of Mexican forward Javier Hernandez this week.

Leeds United, Wolves and a host of Championship clubs are all said to be keen on signing Fletcher however.