Recently promoted side Brighton and Hove Albion have taken the lead for the purchase of Ludogorets forward Jonathan Cafu, Sport Witness understands.

Chris Hughton’s side first showed their interest in the player in April, and after the first contacts with the Bulgarian side, they are currently in negotiations to set a transfer fee before making an official offer.

Brighton are not keen on paying for Cafu’s €12m release clause, which is what Ludogorets were demanding at first, and that’s what is stopping the deal for now. However, both sides are optimistic that an agreement can be found.

The player is keen on making a move to the Premier League this summer, and joining the league through a more modest club is not a problem for him.

West Ham also held talks with Ludogorets last month, but after listening to the conditions, they haven’t got back to the Bulgarian club.

In January, Stoke City, Leicester City and Crystal Palace also made first contacts, but their interest was not advanced.