Belfast Telegraph

Pulis warns suitors over Berahino

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis has warned any suitors for Saido Berahino he is not prepared to do a deadline-day deal.

The Hawthorns boss will not leave himself short of firepower as he tries to steer the Baggies away from relegation trouble.

Pulis does not want to sell the 14-goal striker, although he has admitted Albion would consider a huge bid for the England Under-21 international.

Liverpool and Tottenham have been linked, although neither side have approached the Baggies, and chairman Jeremy Peace this week insisted they want to keep Berahino.

And with West Brom in a Barclays Premier League relegation fight Pulis is not prepared to gamble with their top-flight future if he has not signed a replacement.

"I would have to decide and take into account what we've brought in and what we've been left with," he said, ahead of Saturday's FA Cup trip to Birmingham.

"Staying in the Premier League is vital. What's it worth next year? Hundreds of millions.

"We've not been offered any money yet.

"You have to sit down and think about it and you'd have to look at how strong the squad was he was leaving to agree to it.

"If the squad wasn't strong enough it would be very difficult to say yes, although you still might take a chance.

"The important thing is that he keeps doing what he's been doing. He's been brilliant around the place."

Pulis is revamping his squad this month and has already given the green light for wingers Silvestre Varela and Sebastian Blanco to go along with Georgios Samaras.

Wigan's Callum McManaman remains a target, with Albion having bid twice for the winger, and Pulis has held talks with Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher.

"We've spoken to Darren and had a chat with him. He'll let us know. The timeframe will be deadline day," said Pulis, who confirmed Nottingham Forest's Michail Antonio was on his radar.

"I'm not sure about United, that might be one of his options. He's a fantastic lad.

"I'm not sure (if there is a fee involved), he'll make a decision where he wants to go and then the clubs will get involved in negotiations."

Pulis has also brought in former Bristol City Under-21 coach Mark O'Connor to his backroom staff, while he is also yet to appoint a goalkeeping coach.

"Mark's worked with me, I played with him at Bournemouth and took him to Gillingham. He know me and I know him, he's a good coach," he added.

"Technically, he'll be very good for the younger players."


From Belfast Telegraph