Stoke City midfielder Sam Clucas has been linked with a move to managerless Championship side West Brom by Football Insider, with the Baggies weighing up a potential bid for the 30-year-old.
This is despite the West Midlands side not currently having a managerial appointment in place or a Director of Football to drive the club’s recruitment strategy.
However, they need to start ramping up pre-season preparations very soon if they want to enjoy a fast start to the 2021/22 Championship campaign, after being relegated to the second tier last season.
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The window will not only be focused on potential high-profile outgoings, with Matheus Pereira and Sam Johnstone both linked with moves away from the Hawthorns this summer, but also on reinforcements as a new man prepares to take charge.
Let’s take a look at one of the names currently being linked with a move to the recently-relegated side.
What do we know so far?
Stoke City are currently looking to cut costs this summer and rebuild a more affordable club, with current midfielder Joe Allen even being offered to Championship rivals including Sheffield United.
Clucas could be another player the club may want to cash in on, with the 30-year-old joining in August 2018 for a £6m fee. That summer saw a period of heavy spending at the bet365 Stadium with the Potters searching for an instant return to the Premier League.
With this, the former Hull and Swansea man could be on a decent wage – and Stoke could therefore be willing to make a loss – valuing the 30-year-old at just £3m according to the Football Insider exclusive.
They are expected to let go of him if West Brom or another interested side meets that valuation – and that’s no surprise considering Clucas’ contract expires next summer.
Is it likely to happen?
If West Brom want him, this deal is likely happen, even if they try to negotiate a deal that’s under the £3m price tag.
However, the board at the Hawthorns are unlikely to sanction any transfers in or out of the club until their new appointment is given the time to assess his current squad.
According to The Telegraph, this managerial appointment is likely to happen soon with the Baggies agreeing to pay a £2m compensation fee to poach Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael.
Whether Ismael wants the versatile 30-year-old remains to be seen, but the reasonably low price tag could tempt the Frenchman to make Clucas, who has a wealth of experience in the Championship, his first purchase.
They will have the resources to beat other sides to his signature – the move will now depend on one man and one man only – whether it’s Valerien Ismael or an alternative manager who takes the reigns.