CHERRIES’ Championship rivals Brighton were tonight linked with a potential swoop for star striker Lewis Grabban.

The frontman has reportedly emerged on the Seagulls’ wish-list of possible targets to replace recent Burnley recruit Ashley Barnes.

A report in Brighton-based newspaper The Argus claimed that Albion were interested in Grabban and considering whether or not to submit a bid.

However, when contacted by the Daily Echo in the past half an hour, Cherries confirmed that they had received no approaches for any of their players.

That came after boss Eddie Howe last month insisted Cherries were not a selling club as they attempted to consolidate their status in the Championship following a solid start to life in the second tier.

Grabban is not the first of Cherries’ prized assets to be linked with a move as both Matt Ritchie and Steve Cook have also been the subject of recent speculation.

But speaking after Cherries’ victory over Yeovil on Boxing Day, manager Howe told the Daily Echo: “I have always maintained the stance that I am pleased when other clubs recognise our players. I think it is a sign that, as a team generally, you are performing well.

“You can’t stop speculation. All you can do is say we are not a selling club now. We want to progress and move forward and, to do that, you need to keep your best players.”

Grabban appeared on Brighton’s radar after rocketing to the top of the Dean Court goalscoring charts with 10 in 24 Championship appearances this term.

The ex-Millwall and Crystal Palace man was thought to have caught the eye of the Seagulls hierarchy when netting in a 1-1 draw at the Amex on New Year’s Day.

Grabban is contracted to the Dean Court outfit until June 2016 after putting pen to paper on an improved deal in November following his fine start to the season.

Signed by Paul Groves from Rotherham for a fee in the region of £300,000 in summer 2012, Grabban also starred during Cherries’ revival under Howe and hit 13 goals during his debut campaign in Dorset.