Former Charlton star Dale Stephens has signed a new four-year deal with Brighton.

Stephens was linked with moves away from the Amex Stadium last summer, stating his desire to play top-flight football.

But with Brighton’s promotion to the Premier League confirmed, the midfielder has put pen to paper on a long-term contract.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton said: “I am absolutely delighted that Dale has agreed his new deal. I was confident once we secured promotion that he would stay.

“It was well documented last summer that he had a desire to play in the Premier League, which was understandable, but he put that to one side.

“He has shown a great level of professionalism and was an integral part of the team which won promotion.”

Brighton signed Stephens from Charlton for an undisclosed fee in January 2014. And he has been an ever-present in Hughton’s team, making over 100 appearances.

He handed in a transfer request last summer to try to force a move to Burnley, but remained with the Seagulls, and helped them achieve promotion last month.

News Shopper: Dale Stephens' Charlton days could be numbered. PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD.

Dale Stephens during his Charlton days

Stephens, 27, told Sky Sports: “The reason I wanted to move to Burnley was because of Premier League football, there's no secret about that.

“That's why I am so happy to have put pen to paper to stay here for four years and hopefully four Premier League years.

“It's moved quite quickly over the last two weeks once we got promoted and I was desperate to get it done.”