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West Brom prepare Toivonen move

Steve Clarke is considering a move for Sweden international striker Ola Toivonen as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku.

Ola Toivonen PSV Eindhoven helped PSV on their way to a 3-1 scalp of Rapid Bucurest
Ola Toivonen has scored six goals in 32 appearances for Sweden

Despite the return of his close friend Jose Mourinho to Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion head coach Clarke is losing hope of securing the services of Belgium striker Lukaku on loan next season.

Mourinho wants to give Lukaku a chance to establish himself at Stamford Bridge as the Portuguese coach sets about constructing a side capable of challenging for the Premier League title.

So Clarke is ready to turn his attentions to PSV Eindhoven striker Toivonen - who is embroiled in a row with coach Phillip Cocu over his contract situation.

Toivonen has been told he will not be considered for the PSV first team and will have to spend next season with the club's B squad if he refuses to extend his contract which is about to enter the final year.

It is PSV's policy not to allow players to run down their contracts and leave on a Bosman free transfer and Toivonen has made it clear he has no intentions of signing a new deal.

The 26-year-old striker is interesting several English clubs, including West Brom, Fulham and West Ham United and his representatives plan to speak to interested parties next week to try to find a solution to the problem.

Toivonen confirmed he will be placed in the "sporting freezer" by PSV if he fails to sign a contract extension, telling Aftonbladet: "On July 1, I go to the B team and train. They said it. I did not intend to sign a new contract. So I will be on the B-side team."

He would relish a move to the Premier League, but feels PSV are making his situation more difficult by demanding a fee in the region of £5 million for him to leave.

"The price is too high. I've said that before and I maintain. It remains to be seen what happens. I feel it's poor respect from the club. I have already signed a contract with them and extended it once. So yes, I think it's poor respect."

Clarke believes his squad needs to possess greater depth for his second season and strikers are a priority, with Lukaku, Peter Odemwingie and Marc-Antoine Fortune all expected to leave.

"There is a lot of work to be done over the summer," he said. "We have to look at the squad and look to boost it to give it more help. In the second half of the season we saw how light we were as a squad. We need more quality players and we probably need a slightly bigger squad." 

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