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May 22, 2013

West Brom let two players go

West Bromwich Albion have released Jerome Thomas and Gonzalo Jara and also confirmed that Zoltan Gera and Marc-Antoine Fortune will become free agents at the end of next month.

Thomas only has six months remaining on his current West Brom deal
Thomas will be seeking a new club in the summer

But they may yet make a move to re-sign the latter duo and are also still interested in keeping left-back Goran Popov, the Macedonia international whose loan stay at The Hawthorns is now coming to an end.

Steven Reid did not make enough appearances to guarantee another year at the club and Albion have the option to terminate his contract. But they stress they are currently in negotiations with the right-back about a new deal.

What is certain is that Thomas and the Jara are looking for new clubs after making 106 and 67 Baggies appearances respectively. Thomas scored 13 times while in the West Midlands. Albion had a one-year option on Jara but chose not to activate it.

Gera, 34, who suffered a serious knee injury in January five months into his second Albion stint, did not play enough games to trigger the extra year he would have been entitled to. But the club plan talks with the Hungary international as his rehab progresses.

Fortune is out of contract and heading for free agent status but Hawthorns officials will remain in contact with the ex-Celtic striker and have not ruled out the possibility of making him an offer to return.

Popov, who has been on loan from Dynamo Kiev, is also the subject of talks involving his parent club, but Albion will not be exercising their option to permanently sign their other season-long loan capture, the little-seen Yassine El Ghanassy, from AA Gent.

Sporting and technical director (designate) Richard Garlick said on the club's official website: “Both Jerome and Gonzalo have played important roles in helping the club reach and stay in the Premier League since joining us four years ago.

“They have found first-team opportunities harder to come by this season and had spells out on loan. They both leave with our best wishes, as does Yassine. Steven’s an important figure both on and off the field and we are in negotiations with him about a new deal.

“Zoltan’s situation is a little different in that he is rehabbing from a serious injury. We plan to hold talks with him later this summer and he will continue to have our full support in his efforts to regain full fitness.

“We have not offered Marc-Antoine a new deal at this stage but he remains under consideration as we weigh up all options for next season.

“Romelu deserves all the credit he has been getting for his fantastic contribution. He will report back to Chelsea for pre-season, as planned, and it will be down to them whether Romelu is made available for loan again, and to whom, next season.

“Goran’s loan has also come to an end and we plan to hold talks with Dynamo Kiev in the coming weeks to decide his future.”

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