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By ESPN Staff

Peter Odemwingie eyes West Brom exit

Steve Clarke has made it clear Peter Odemwingie has no future with West Bromwich Albion and revealed the player had not trained with the first team during pre-season.

Peter Odemwingie says Hodgson's comments hurt him
Odemwingie is yet to get his desired move away from The Hawthorns.

Evans: Season preview

The Nigeria international angered the club last January with his now infamous drive to QPR on transfer deadline day and a subsequent trail of inflammatory tweets.

Albion have since signed Nicolas Anelka and Matej Vydra and see no role for a player who has delivered goals in the Premier League over a long period.

"It's great when you can hide behind the title of head coach but Peter's future is a matter between him and the club," Clarke said. "He has not trained with me at all this summer and has made it clear he wants to leave.

"The situation will probably be resolved in the next couple of weeks. If he's still here on September 2 or 3, that's a situation we will deal with."

Clarke has hailed Anelka as an outstanding capture for by saying he will lift the overall standards at the club.

The Scot has seen the striker deliver seven goals in pre-season and ensure himself a hero's reception when the Premier League season kicks off with a home game against Southampton on Saturday.

"Nicolas felt he still had enough left in his body to produce in the Premier League and, luckily for him, I agreed," Clarke said.

"I know him from our short spell together at Chelsea and he will bring good quality and bring the rest of the players along to a good level of quality.

"He's like any really top player. He has adapted his game. When he was younger, he was quicker and ran behind defences. Now he is the play-maker and when you give him the ball, nine times out of ten it comes back to one of your players. Other players can make runs accordingly.

"There's no down-side to him. He has settled well and is a favourite among the other players. He's a really good person. Everyone's going on about his age but he's the fittest 34 year-old I've seen."

Albion have added Udinese striker Matej Vydra on loan for the season and re-signed long-serving utility man Zoltan Gera since they beat Bologna 2-0 last weekend, having last week signed Uruguay captain Diego Lugano.

Although Salomon Kalou has disappeared off their radar, they remain in the market for Manchester City forward Scott Sinclair on an extended loan.

"We are still after some players and have targets in mind," Clarke added. "The club are working ever so hard but it doesn't look like we will have any more in for Saturday.

"We think Vydra will make a big impact. We watched him last season, as did a lot of clubs, and he looks a natural finisher. With the players around him, hopefully he will get the same number of chances as he did when he scored 22 goals in the Championship - and he can take them."

Albion started brilliantly last season by beating Liverpool 3-0 on the opening day and following up a draw at Tottenham by then defeating Everton comfortably.

Their record since the turn of the year was that of a relegated club, though, and there will be curiosity as to whether they can repeat the top-ten finishes they have managed in the last two years.

"It feels exactly the same for me," Clarke said. "I have the same nervous excitement and anticipation about the season starting. I've had it every year since I've been playing and we look forward to a long, hard but successful season.

"We're ready for the season because pre-season is a slog. If you win your first few games, it's great but it's not always possible. It doesn't matter when you get your points - it's just whether you can get them.

"For me, it's about trying to emulate what we did last season, being positive and winning matches. I don't worry about it being the second season. I learned something last season and will put that into practice.

"Hopefully the fans will be excited by the new men we have. We don't go round splashing the cash but it doesn't mean we don't sign good players."


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