Former West Bromwich Albion forward Kevin Phillips has said it would be a ‘blow’ to lose centre-back Kyle Bartley this summer in an interview with West Brom News, with Newcastle United and Crystal Palace taking an interest in the 30-year-old.
Bartley was part of a Baggies side that finished 19th in the Premier League last season, 13 points away from safety as they were relegated back to the Championship.
However, the centre-back could be set for a move back to the top flight with Steve Bruce and Patrick Viera taking an interest in the Englishman – and Bartley could be available for just £3m with 12 months left on his contract.
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The vice-captain is one player who wasn’t expected to be linked with a move away from The Hawthorns with star players Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira grabbing the transfer headlines at the start of the summer.
But with new manager Valerien Ismael in place, the Frenchman could be willing to cash in on the 30-year-old to bring in his own central defender.
Former Baggies striker Kevin Phillips has advised against this and believe it would be a major blow to lose their vice-captain before the end of this transfer window.
Speaking to the West Brom News outlet on this current situation, Bartley said: “I don’t think it would matter how much money it is, it would just be a blow to lose him full-stop.
“He did very well last season, he’s one of their better players.
“If you lose part of the spine of your team, certainly at this stage, you haven’t got that long until the season starts to replace him.
“It would be difficult, it would be a blow.
“With the money, they’d like to get as much as they possibly could if he does go. £3million doesn’t seem an awful lot.
“Just for him to go would be a blow for West Brom at this stage.”
Although Kyle Bartley doesn’t carry the price tag Johnstone and Pereira does, he could still be a vital man behind the scenes as a leader in the dressing room and out on the pitch – and carries the second-tier experience needed to lead his side to their second Championship promotion in three years.
Although it could be worth taking a fee for him now with just one year left on his deal, £3m isn’t going to vastly improve Ismael’s transfer budget at The Hawthorns.
And for what he brings to the West Midlands side, it could be worth keeping him until next summer even if he doesn’t put pen to paper on a new deal.