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Fiorentina swoop for Mulumbu

Steve Clarke wants West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace to step up contract negotiations with Youssouf Mulumbu to avoid losing the influential midfielder to Fiorentina.

Youssouf Mulumbu holds off and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard
Fiorentina have made a second play for Mulumbu

Fiorentina are preparing a £4m move for the DR Congo midfielder in a bid to make it second time lucky to persuade him to move to Serie A.

The Italian club failed in an attempt to lure Mulumbu away from the Hawthorns last summer, but are ready to exploit the impasse talks over a new deal to extend the 26-year-old’s stay at West Brom

Mulumbu has still not been offered attractive enough terms to extend his existing deal at the Hawthorns, despite several weeks of negotiations, and is considering his options, with Fiorentina and the prospect of Europa League football an attractive proposition.

A source close to Mulumbu said: "The interest of Fiorentina is no surprise. They tried to sign him last summer, but were not successful. They still have an interest and they know that this is possibly a time for negotiation, because of the situation at West Bromwich Albion.

"It is normal when a player has one year remaining on contract that he looks to negotiate and assesses the options at other clubs."

Mulumbu joined Albion from PSG for £175,000 in 2009 and has signed two previous contract extensions with the club to reflect the impact he has made since arriving in the Premier League.

Albion began contract negotiations with Mulumbu, Gareth McAuley and Shane Long before the end of last season and Clarke urged the club's sporting and technical director Richard Garlick and Peace to bring a swift conclusion to deals for the trio.

So far only McAuley has signed an improved two-year deal and Long is attracting interest from several clubs, including Spanish side Sevilla.

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