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Baggies to step up Kalou bid

West Bromwich Albion are likely to step up their efforts to sign Lille forward Salomon Kalou, the Birmingham Mail reports, after head coach Steve Clarke spoke of the need to add another four players to his squad.

Clarke worked with Kalou during his time as assistant manager at Chelsea.
Clarke worked with Kalou during his time as assistant manager at Chelsea.

Albion have so far brought in only one permanent capture, Nicolas Anelka, as well as landing left-back Goran Popov on a season-long loan.

Clarke is keen to add to his options and former Chelsea man Kalou, who is said to have a £2.6 million release clause in his contract, appears to be a target.

The Scot hopes that Albion’s high finish in 2012-13, coupled with their swoop for Anelka, will convince other targets of their ambition for the coming campaign.

“The performance of the team last season is the biggest hook,” Clarke told his club’s official website. “We finished in the top eight of the Premier League. Even when we were out there (on tour in Austria and Hungary), we were receiving compliments and kind words. That’s from other teams in other countries.

"They realise West Brom finishing eighth in the Premier League is something that shouldn’t be underestimated. The fact Nicolas has come can only help that but, between now and the end of the transfer window € if no-one went out € we’d need another four players to add to the squad.”

West Brom have seen their attacking options depleted by Romelu Lukaku’s return to parent club Chelsea and Marc Antoine-Fortune’s move to Wigan, while Peter Odemwingie is expected to exit in the near future.

Clarke is also working with a new ‘talent finder’ in Richard Gallick after Dan Ashworth’s switch to the FA and Albion fans are being urged not to panic.

“When you’re chasing players, you’re always making enquiries, always speaking to people,” he added. “It would be wrong for us to mention names, or comment on names. We are pursuing a number of targets.

“Now whether they fall out tomorrow or whether they fall next week, no-one can tell, so you have to be patient. It’s part of the job of other people at the club to bring the players to me. I’m the head coach. I get to work with the players when they bring them to me and hopefully turn them into a team which can be competitive in the Premier League.

“At the moment I’m not nervous because I know the people I have in mind. I know they are good targets. They are realistic targets and they haven’t gone anywhere else, so I have no reason to be nervous at the moment.”


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