By Tom Blackburn
Brighton chief executive Paul Barber claims the reason his club failed to sign Alex Pritchard was problems with traffic.
The Seagulls were in pole position to land the playmaker from Tottenham on Tuesday but Norwich hijacked the deal in the eleventh hour and were able to finalise the transfer of Pritchard and announced his arrival on Thursday morning.
In a Fans Forum on the Brighton Twitter account, Barber claimed that problems on the M25 prevented his club sealing the deal and Norwich moved in to win the race.
Sky Sports claimed on their website that a bid had been accepted by Tottenham from the Seagulls after extensive talks and Pritchard was due to begin a medical late on Tuesday night.
He had also agreed personal terms with Brighton and indicated that he was ready to link up with Chris Hughton, who coached him when he was coming through the Spurs ranks.
But Norwich made a last-minute bid to prise Pritchard from White Hart Lane and won the race for the 23-year-old in a deal reported to be costing £8million.
Football Insider revealed last week that Pritchard was one of seven senior Spurs players deemed surplus to requirements by manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Pritchard, who operates in the number 10 role but can also play out wide, made a name for himself during a loan spell at Brentford in the 2014-15 season, where he scored 12 times.
The 23-year-old playmaker spent the second half of last season on-loan at West Brom, but failed to make a single start for the Baggies, managing just two Premier League sub appearances.
The England Under-21 international has appeared just twice for Spurs, and has also spent time on loan at both Swindon and Peterborough.
In other Tottenham transfer news, they have made an approach for a £25.5million rated playmaker.