Coral’s Rumour Reel: West Brom to bag former Toon and Chelsea striker?
With Tony Pulis rebuilding his inherited West Bromwich Albion squad ahead of his first full season in charge at The Hawthorns, including the recent capturing of Republic of Ireland international James McClean, the Baggies are linked with another host of names.
This includes former Chelsea and Newcastle United striker Demba Ba, with the Baggies prepared to make the current Besiktas frontman their highest paid player. The 30-year-old is believed to favour a return to the Premier League, rather than joining Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.
Pulis’ former club Crystal Palace are linked with a swoop for Italy international full back Davide Santon, who spent four years on Tyneside with Newcastle United and is currently at Inter Milan. The former top-flight defender initially joined the San Siro side on loan before making a deal permanent last January, with the Eagles 11/2 with Coral to be relegated in 2015/16.
Despite QPR claiming they have received no offers for sought-after forward Charlie Austin, who netted 18 goals last season, Steve McClaren’s Magpies are still leading the race to acquire his services this summer ahead West Ham United and Southampton.
Meanwhile, champions Chelsea, who were also previously linked with Austin, are tracking Stoke City stopper Asmir Begovic, who would reportedly cost £8m. Jose Mourinho is keen to land a talented back-up to his number one Thibaut Courtois, and the Potters goal guard would provide exactly that.
Although, Potters boss Mark Hughes wants Victor Moses as part of any deal for the possibly departing goalkeeper, though reports suggest that the former Stoke loanee is unsure if he wants to return to the Britannia Stadium next term.
Sunderland will be hoping to avoid another relegation battle next season, and Dutch boss Dick Advocaat is still aiming to audaciously land PSV midfielder and Eredivisie player of the year Georginio WIjnaldum. The 24-year-old is valued at around £11m and would significantly bolster the central areas, with North East rivals Newcastle apparently also interested (5/1 to be relegated 2015/16).
The Toon are seeking reinforcements for next term but have been dealt a blow as Wolfsburg manager Dieter Hecking declaring that star forward Bas Dost should turn down a switch to St James’ Park. The deadly Dutchman has risen to prominence in the Bundesliga after dazzling displays last term, when he netted 19 goals in all competitions, including a strike in the German Cup final.
Elsewhere, top tier clubs have been tracking Birmingham City’s highly-rated attacker Demarai Gray, but his manager Gary Rowett has claimed his starlet should wait for the right club.