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Transfer Rater: Benteke to Chelsea

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Injuries could force Baggies into market

West Bromwich Albion will only make moves in the January transfer window if their injury situation becomes desperate.

Zoltan Gera wants to be ready for pre-season
Gera was injured at Loftus Road

Boss Steve Clarke is awaiting the results of scans on Zoltan Gera and Marc-Antoine Fortune, who were both injured during the FA Cup third round draw with Queens Park Rangers on Saturday - adding to a growing list of unavailable players.

Fortune suffered a hamstring problem, but Clarke is more concerned by the knee injury sustained by Gera, who was forced to miss much of last season after injuring his cruciate ligament in November 2011.

Albion already have Claudio Yacob, Goran Popov (both hamstring), Jonas Olsson (groin) and Steven Reid (foot) sidelined, while Peter Odemwingie and Youssouf Mulumbu also sustained minor knocks before the 1-1 draw at Loftus Road.

Mulumbu is now on African Nations Cup duty with DR Congo, while Graham Dorrans looks set to leave in the coming weeks after Clarke revealed that the midfielder had asked for a fresh start.

The manager’s joint assistant Kevin Keen said: “We’ve played a lot of games over Christmas. This is a culmination of five games in 16 days, so those things will happen.

“We have a few [injuries]. If you include Goran and Steven, along with Olsson and Claudio, they are our numbers two, three, four and five, so they are important. If we desperately needed to strengthen, I’m sure we would do that.”

Clarke has said he has no intention of selling striker Shane Long, who is attracting interest from Newcastle as they look to replace Demba Ba.

Albion are bracing themselves for a fight to keep the former Reading striker and Keen said: “Shane is definitely a player we do not want to lose, and he is not in our plans to sell. He gives his heart and soul.”

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