Baggies boss expects midfielder stay

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West Brom head coach Roy Hodgson is confident key midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu will remain at the Hawthorns.

Hodgson has played down fears that Mulumbu could be tempted away from Albion because of the interest shown in him by Italian club Fiorentina. Mulumbu was one of Albion's outstanding performers last season and also weighed in with seven goals to make him their second-highest scorer after Peter Odemwingie.

Albion report back for pre-season training on Monday with Hodgson optimistic that Mulumbu will be part of his plans for next season. He said: "Youssouf Mulumbu has a long contract that has to be respected - and he has given no indication that he plans to break that commitment."

He added: "Talk of a transfer is just fantasy at the moment. It will be difficult for anyone to take him.

"Mulumbu will not go, at least not for another year."


Hodgson is waiting to find out whether another midfielder in Zoltan Gera will be reunited with him at Albion.

He signed Gera - from Albion - when in charge of Fulham during the summer of 2008.

Gera is a free agent after his contract with the Cottagers ran out at the end of last season.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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