West Bromwich Albion head coach Tony Pulis has expressed his desire to keep Saido Berahino at the club as they battle to stay in the Premier League.
Berahino is the Baggies' top goalscorer with nine goals, and his performances have attracted interest from clubs in the higher reaches of the table.
Despite Albion chairman Jeremy Peace saying there would be no sale of Berahino unless Pulis said otherwise, the former Stoke City and Crystal Palace boss is aware that nothing is ever clear cut in the world of football.
Speaking at his press conference ahead of West Brom’s FA Cup fourth round trip to local rivals Birmingham City, Pulis also had time to talk about other potential arrivals and departures at the Hawthorns.
On the subject of the 21-year-old striker, Pulis said: “The problem with talking about any players at this time of the year is that if someone comes in with an unbelievable offer that you can’t turn down it leaves you with egg on your face.
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“We’d love to keep him at the football club. He is an outstanding young talent and someone who will score goals and has got a good record of scoring goals, at this level, at such an early age.
"We’d love to keep him at the football club. He is an outstanding young talent and someone who will score goals and has got a good record of scoring goals, at this level, at such an early age"
“So you want to keep him for that reason but to say ‘he’s not going anywhere’ that’s difficult at times because you never know what is around the corner.”
Berahino will be looking to add to the four he scored in the 7-0 win over Gateshead in round three. However in Monday night’s 0-0 draw to Everton the 21-year-old was deployed in a wider role to help balance the side.
But Pulis believes the England under-21 star is working hard for the benefit of everyone at the club.
“He played in a different position at Everton. He did well for us, really, really well. Worked very hard and he is getting used to the fact that this team has to work hard and he has to be part of that team that works hard.”
With the transfer window in full swing, managers up and down the country are looking for ways to strengthen their squad as we approach the business end of the season.
Pulis also took the time to comment on reports linking the Baggies with a move for Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher. He said: “I think Darren [Fletcher] is speaking to three or four clubs. I think he will make his decision when it is right to make his decision.
“We showed an interest, I think other clubs showed an interest and the kid has got to sit down and make a decision.”
The Welshman also confirmed there is interest in Wigan Athletic’s Callum McManaman and Nottingham Forest wide-man Michail Antonio. Seemingly there are other irons in the fire if those deals do not materialise.
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