Crystal Palace enter race for West Brom-keen Jeffrey Schlupp

January 10, 2017

Albion have been put on alert by Crystal Palace’s £9million bid for Leicester City’s Jeffrey Schlupp.

The Baggies made three offers ranging from £9m to £12m for the versatile left-sided player in the summer, but all of them were turned down.

Head coach Tony Pulis retains an interest in the Ghanaian, who is struggling for minutes at Leicester and is expected to leave this window.

Earlier this season Schlupp was referring to Albion as ‘my club’ at Leicester’s training ground, and told friends he was going to sign for the Baggies in January.

Albion asked Leicester to keep them notified over Schlupp’s availability, but Palace have now thrown a spanner in the works with a £9m bid.

Even though Leicester rejected that offer, Albion will now have to fight Eagles boss Sam Allardyce for Schlupp’s signature if they still want it.

At the moment, the Baggies remain focused on primary target Morgan Schneiderlin, who they are willing to spend £22m on.

They don’t plan to do any other business until Schneiderlin’s future is resolved, but Everton have nearly agreed a deal with Manchester United for the midfielder.

Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri blocked Albion’s move for Schlupp in the summer, but he’s happy to sell him in this window.

It’s understood Schlupp would prefer to join the Baggies over Palace or Swansea – who are also interested.

Not only would he not have to move house, but he also sees Albion, who currently sit in eighth place in the table, as far more stable than the other two clubs.

“We’re looking to add more pace to the team, which I think is very important,” said Pulis, last week. “There are areas that we have to improve.

“We’ve got room, our squad is the smallest in the league I think in respect of senior pros. If we can do it, let’s do it. If we can’t, we have to get on with it.”

The Baggies remain in negotiation with Birmingham City over the possible sale of Craig Gardner.

Blues would prefer a loan deal but Albion don’t want to lose the midfielder and stump up cash for some of his wages, so they would rather sell him or keep him.

Chris Brunt missed Saturday’s FA Cup game with Derby with a stiff back, but is expected to return this weekend against Tottenham.