Irvine hoses down Brighton link but declares himself Premier League ready

Jackson Irvine Source: Getty Images

Jackson Irvine has doused speculation he could be about to sign for Brighton and Hove Albion, but has re-affirmed his ambition to play in the Premier League.

The Socceroos midfielder - a standout for his country in the 1-1 draw with mighty Chile at the Confederations Cup - revealed that he was in the dark over a reported $1.7 million bid from the Premier League newcomer to Burton Albion.

Reacting to the rumours of joining Australia teammate Mat Ryan on England's south coast, Irvine said: "I've obviously read about it but I don't believe there's anything tangible there.

"I haven't heard anything anyway and I think if I haven't heard about it then it's probably not going to be happening just yet.

"Obviously, it's a compliment (to be linked with an Premier League move), though I am not sure what the source was. 

"In terms of anything real happening at the moment there's nothing on the cards in that department."

Currently holidaying in Spain, Irvine heads back into pre-season with Burton on Monday but remains open to the prospect of a northern summer move, should the right offer come along.

"It's a long window and you deal with anything as and when it crops up," he added.

"But I'll be going back to Burton ... we have made some good signings in recent weeks and we'll see what happens."

The 24 year old has two seasons left on his Brewers contract, with his 10 goals last season helping ensure Championship survival and earning him players' and supporters' player of the year accolades.

The Premier League, though, has a powerful elixir for Irvine, who grew up in Melbourne watching the competition from afar.

"It's kind of the pinnacle," he said. "Of course I'd love to play in any top league in Europe but the reason I came to England was to hopefully play in the Premier League one day."

Irvine is convinced that were the opportunity to arise he'd be ready to thrive at the top level.

"The higher the level you test yourself at seems to help propel you forward even more," he explained.

"Fingers crossed, if I ever got the chance to compete at that level I would be comfortable and it would not be as out of reach as it might seem."

Referring to his hyper-active display against Chile in a No. 6 role, Irvine added: "When you can compete against world class players it gives you a new level of confidence in yourself."

Irvine sees Australia as perfectly placed to carry new found belief into next month's vital World Cup trip to Japan, with an automatic qualifying spot for Russia 2018 on the line.

"We showed some unbelievably promising signs over the course of the Confederations Cup," he added.

"You could see the progression of how we got better throughout the tournament.

"The more you play against top class opposition, the more you improve.

"We play without fear against anybody ... in the last 12 months the only teams we have lost to are Germany and Brazil.

"We are just going to grow and keep getting better."