Belfast Telegraph

Peace keen to keep Berahino

West Bromwich Albion chairman Jeremy Peace has responded to mounting speculation over the future of Saido Berahino by insisting the striker is not for sale.

Berahino hinted last week he may have to look elsewhere to fulfil his long-term Champions League ambitions after being called up to Roy Hodgson's England squad for the first time.

But Peace maintains the 21-year-old graduate of the Baggies' academy will not be leaving any time soon - and revealed he is in "preliminary talks" with a view to extending Berahino's current contract which still has three years left to run.

In a statement on the club's official website Peace said: "I wish to assure our supporters that Saido Berahino will not be going anywhere in January or, I hope, next summer.

"It is not in our minds at all to trade a footballer the club has worked so diligently to develop.

"He is contracted to play for West Bromwich Albion until at least the summer of 2017 and we are happy to sit down with him and discuss extending that commitment on terms which recognise his continuing improvement as a footballer and his growing importance to our own plans.

"We have begun that process by opening preliminary talks with Saido's representatives.

"We are delighted that this development has now taken him all the way to the senior England squad. This reflects proudly on our club and the efforts of all the staff who have played such a key role in Saido's progress since he arrived here as an 11-year-old.

"However, it seems to have also generated unwarranted and excitable speculation about his future - which I wish to stress remains very firmly aligned to this football club."

Berahino has been named in Hodgson's squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia and the friendly against Scotland.

The Burundi-born star has starred for England under-21s for some time and has scored eight goals in 13 games for West Brom this season, making him the highest scoring Englishman in the top flight.

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