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Brighton near deal for Nigeria international defender Leon Balogun - sources

Brighton & Hove Albion are close to signing Nigerian international defender Leon Balogun from Mainz, sources have told ESPN FC.

Balogun is out of contract at Mainz this summer and Brighton look set to bring him to the Amex Stadium on a free transfer.

The 29-year-old, who can play at centre-back and full-back, made 15 appearances in all competitions for Mainz this season as they managed to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.

Balogun, who has won 16 caps for Nigeria, helped the Super Eagles qualify for this summer's World Cup and he is set to feature for his country in Russia next month.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton is eager to strengthen his squad after securing survival this season in their first campaign in the Premier League and he has set up a deal for Balogun.

Hughton is keen to add defensive cover to his squad having seen Uwe Hunemeier leave the club to SC Paderborn earlier this offseason and Balogun's versatility in that he can play anywhere across the backline makes him an attractive proposition.

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