Gus Poyet believes Liam Bridcutt is good enough to play for Real Madrid following his star turn in Brighton's 2-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Newcastle.
Andrea Orlandi and Will Hoskins delivered two fine goals at the Amex Stadium but it was the industry and combativeness of Bridcutt that secured the man of the match award for the 23-year-old midfielder.
"Yes I am worried by Liam's performance. Other clubs can ask about him because it's part of the game," the Seagulls manager said. "If I was coach of Real I would take him because he deserves to go to the highest level."
He added: "As a holding midfielder, there is no better player in the division. So he is quite expensive.
"The best thing about Liam is that he understands me to an incredible level. The way he understands what I want from him is spectacular."
Brighton are one win away from the play-offs in the npower Championship and Poyet has ruled out offloading their best players.
"Now that we are at the same level as the rest of the teams that everyone is talking about, our players are expensive," he said.
"I don't put prices on them but we're not a selling team anymore."
Poyet admits he is at odds with his players over who would be best for Brighton to draw in the fourth round.
"I want the smallest team left in the competition at home. The players want the biggest away from home," he said.