West Brom head coach Roy Hodgson wants an early decision on whether Birmingham are prepared to sell keeper Ben Foster after his season on loan at the Hawthorns.
Foster was allowed to make the temporary switch to Albion after Blues were relegated from the Barclays Premier League last May and he has impressed Hodgson but the Baggies chief hopes to find out whether he can bid for Foster on a permanent basis before promotion contenders Birmingham know which division they will be in next season.
When asked if a deal can be completed, Hodgson said: "It will depend on Birmingham and how they see the situation. As far as I'm aware these discussions will have to be sooner or later because we need a keeper for next season."
He added: "If it's not going to be Ben, it will have to be somebody else. There are keepers out there that we think we could possibly sign.
"Ben has got better as the season has gone on and we're quite happy with him. It will soon be a case of saying to Birmingham 'what are your intentions'?
"We need to do that fairly quickly I think. We might need an answer before Birmingham know what division they will be in next season.
"Some of the people we have our eye on are not going to wait forever.
"I don't want to fall in between two stools, waiting while Birmingham decide Ben's fate and suddenly we end up with no one. I would like that situation cleared up very quickly, and what I'm talking about might promote a discussion between the two clubs.
"The initial arrangement was that they were fearful he would lose his value playing in the Championship. That's why they went along with the loan to us.
"They did it because they believed they would bounce straight back to the Premier League and they would then get their Premier League keeper back. I don't know what's happening at Birmingham and if their ideas have changed."