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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Clarke not panicking about Amalfitano

West Bromwich Albion head coach Steve Clarke has told supporters they will have to be patient if they want to see Morgan Amalfitano sign for the club on a long-term contract.

Morgan Amalfitano put West Brom ahead.
Morgan Amalfitano has impressed this season.

Amalfitano beams at strike

Clarke is confident that the Baggies are favourites to complete a permanent deal for Amalfitano, 29, who is currently on loan for the season at The Hawthorns from Marseille.

However, the Scot feels there is no need to rush into negotiations for the midfielder, who has become a firm favourite with fans after scoring twice in his three Premier League appearances -- including a stunning opener in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Manchester United.

Clarke is aware of the growing clamour for the club to activate their option to buy Amalfitano -- for a pre-arranged fee of just under two million pounds -- earlier than at the end of the season.

But after five years of monitoring the France international before bringing him to the club in the summer, Clarke is happy to remain patient about finalising any permanent deal.

"It’s something we’ll discuss but I don’t think there is an impending rush for it," Clarke said.

“Morgan’s come in and done really well but he’s under contract for this season. There is a clause in the contract that we can exercise if it is right for all parties and everyone is agreed it is the right thing to do.

“But for now it is just about concentrating on us. I think we’re in the driving seat because he’s our player, he plays for us and we have him here. I think he’s happy and certainly his performances indicate that, but it’s a long season so we won’t get carried away too early.

"He’s here on loan and there’s an option in the contract to buy him, but I wouldn’t think the power would be with anyone but the player.”

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