West Bromwich Albion face awkward talks with Shane Long after the striker’s move to Hull was aborted amid a deadline day transfer frenzy at The Hawthorns.
Evans: Tactical issues
The Republic of Ireland international was given permission to leave his country’s camp in anticipation of a £5 million move to the newly promoted side.
But Albion head coach Steve Clarke pulled the plug on the deal because he was unsure at the time whether the club would be able to see through their own massive investment on Stephane Sessegnon and Victor Anichebe.
The Sunderland forward ironically overtook Long as the Baggies’ new record signing with a move south that is understood to have been for a down-payment of £5.5 million, with further add-ons likely to push the fee up to £6 million.
But Anichebe could break the record again with his transfer from Everton set to eventually hit £6 million.
Albion’s manic day, which also included the capture of free-agent keeper Lee Camp and a long-term loan deal for Marseille midfielder Morgan Amalfitano, was thrown into further confusion late on when hopes rose that they may be able to tempt Romelu Lukaku back for a second spell.
The Chelsea and Belgium forward eventually went to Everton on loan, though, and helped smooth the way for Anichebe’s sale.
The upshot for a club who slumped to the bottom of the Premier League on Sunday by enduring a third successive game without a goal, is that Long will need some reassuring about his future.
Having made a fruitless flight to Hull, he was already in contract talks with Albion and will now wonder where he is in the pecking order.
Meanwhile, Albion finally managed to offload the troublesome Peter Odemwingie to Cardiff for an initial £2.5 million.