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Rooney fluffs lines, Swansea back to basics

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West Brom target Wigan striker Kone

West Bromwich Albion have identified Wigan striker Arouna Kone as a potential replacement for Romelu Lukaku.

Head coach Steve Clarke is waiting to see whether club owner Jeremy Peace will sanction a £6.5 million bid, with Lukaku’s return to his parent club, Chelsea, seemingly inevitable after his successful loan spell at The Hawthorns.

Kone was identified as a target during a recent club meeting involving technical and sporting director Richard Garlick.

He has a £6.5 million release clause in his contract with relegated Wigan, but any Albion bid appears to hinge on finding a buyer for Peter Odemwingie.

Odemwingie has again indicated his intention to leave in the summer, and Albion are hoping to raise £3 million from his sale.

He has been linked with Hull, Crystal Palace, QPR and Swansea and said: "It looks like I will leave the Hawthorns. We are talking now - but where I'll end up, I don't know.

Clarke expects competition for Kone, with former Wigan manager Roberto Martinez interested in linking up with the striker again at Everton.

Hull and Liverpool have also expressed an interest in the Ivory Coast international, who scored 13 goals in all competitions for the Latics last season.

Albion have also been monitoring PSV Eindhoven’s Ola Toivonen, but the Sweden international could join Norwich City, who have agreed a £4.8 million fee with the Dutch club.

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