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By ESPN Staff

Gera in talks to join Baggies

West Brom have confirmed they have opened talks with midfielder Zoltan Gera about a return to the Hawthorns.

• Baggies want Gera

Any deal will be subject to Gera proving his fitness after undergoing surgery on an ankle problem on Thursday.

Gera spent four seasons at the Hawthorns before moving to Fulham in the summer of 2008. He is a free agent after his contract at Craven Cottage expired last month and manager Roy Hodgson is hopeful that Gera will add greater depth to the squad after the recent additions of defenders Gareth McAuley and Billy Jones.

"I am very pleased with the two signings but hopefully they won't be the last two," Hodgson said. "A lot of work is going on behind the scenes and we would like to strengthen our squad further, maybe two or three more players.

"I make no secret of the fact that Zoltan Gera is also a player I would be very interested in bringing back to West Brom. It is where his Premier League career began and I thought he continued it very successfully at Fulham. Now he is looking to move on again and talks are ongoing.''

Hodgson added: "[Gera's] operation may have complicated things slightly but I'm still pretty confident that operation will go well and we will be able to sign him.

"He was popular with fans here and the Fulham fans as well but there have been a couple of managers since I left the club and every manager has ideas of his own. It could be our good fortune that they may now regard him surplus to requirements.''

Albion confirmed earlier on Friday that talks with Gera had commenced, stating: "In light of recent media speculation, Albion can confirm they are in discussions with former player Zoltan Gera and his advisors about a return to The Hawthorns. The Hungarian star decided to seek a new challenge after his Fulham contract expired on June 30 and he is now a free agent.

"The Baggies have opened contract talks with Gera, who became a firm fans' favourite during his previous four-year spell at the club between 2004 and 2008. The 32-year-old has undergone a Hawthorns medical, which revealed he was carrying an ankle injury from last season.

"Gera underwent surgery to rectify the problem yesterday and Albion have agreed to oversee his rehabilitation. If, as expected, he makes a full recovery - to the satisfaction of the club's medical staff - and agrees personal terms, he will rejoin Albion.

"Gera is not eligible for the first three games of the 2011-12 season after he was sent off in his final match for Fulham.''


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