Richie Towell has signed a contract extension which will keep him at Brighton until 2019.
Towell is one of four players to be offered a new deal, along with David Stockdale, Gaetan Bong, Steve Sidwell and Niki Maenpaa.
“I’m sure this won’t come as a major surprise to most people – and we hope the four players we have offered new contracts will be with us next season for our first season in the Premier League,” Hughton told the Brighton club website.
Hughton revealed last week that Towell will go out on loan to a Championship club next season, but his new deal suggests that the former Dundalk midfielder is part of the Brighton manager’s plans.
“Players like Rohan (Ince) and Richie will go out on loan,” Hughton said.
“We have been really delighted with Richie but we are very keen for him to get out on loan to the Championship next season.”
25 year old Towell has struggled to make an impact at Brighton after his stunning form for Dundalk earned him a move to the English club early last year.
“Everyone was looking how I would get on when I came over and it hasn’t gone the way I wanted, but I’m determined to keep myself grounded and prove that I’m good enough to play in the Championship,” he told Independent.ie last December.
“This has been a big step up in class. There is no need to beat around the bush, this is a different level to what we see in the League of Ireland.”
The former Lilywhites midfielder made just one league appearance off the bench this season for the Championship runners-up, but Hughton is clearly a fan of the former Celtic footballer.
Towell needs game time, and a successful loan move could improve his chances of breaking into Hughton’s starting eleven in the future.
Regular first team football would also improve the midfielder’s prospects of featuring for Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland side.