BRIGHTON CEO Paul Barber was full of praise for Chelsea owner Todd Boehly's negotiating skills – but fans aren't convinced.
The Seagulls chief and Boehly thrashed out a £62million deal for left-back Marc Cucurella earlier this month.
American businessman Boehly has not been shy to get his chequebook out while acting as transfer chief following the departure of Marina Granovskaia.
A spree of over £230m has seen the Blues sign Wesley Fofana, Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Carney Chukwuemeka, Gabriel Slonina and Cucurella.
Boehly is also trying to wrap up a deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of tomorrow's transfer deadline.
And despite being new to the world of football, Barber described Boehly as a no-nonsense, but "respectful" negotiator.
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On the Cucurella deal, Barber told talkSPORT: "Todd was very respectful, tough. This wasn't an easy negotiation it went over quite a period of time.
"I certainly didn't get any impression that this was something they'd do at any cost. It was something that they were prepared to do but Todd negotiated very hard."
He added: "Todd's a very successful individual who clearly has done very well in other business and clearly has done well in other businesses through lots of negotiations.
"So although this was potentially a new area for him, and dealing with football players in the Premier League [was] completely new obviously, he was very tough.
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"And he certainly did not make it easy for us to get the deal done, and I respect him for that."
Fans though joked that Barber only praised Boehly because the American forked out a whopping £62m for Cucurella – Brighton's record sale – and claimed the American has been paying over the odds all summer.
One wrote on social media: "£63m after one season in the prem yeah of course you like him you fleeced him."
Another quipped: "Barber taking the mick out of him. Wants to respect him so he can pay him similarly over the odds next time."
While third added: "And still got 60m for him, wouldn’t want Todd to see my advert for my Flymo, would end up paying him to take it away!"
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Manchester United legend Gary Neville criticised Boehly earlier this month, claiming he was treating Chelsea "like he wants to play Football Manager".
A hectic summer has seen multiple players come and go, while on the pitch the Blues have stuttered to just two wins from five games.
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