Saido Berahino has vowed never to play for West Bromwich Albion again whilst Jeremy Peace remains chairman of the Premier League club.
The future of Berahino has been a topic of the summer transfer window, with Tottenham Hotspur eager to link him up with his England Under-21 international partner Harry Kane. Mauricio Pochettino’s side already had bids of £18million and £22million rejected for his signature prior to deadline day, when they resolved to finally get their number one target with one final offer.
But the previous bids had infuriated Peace due to the nature of the structured payments, and the final offer was made up of an initial £5million which was to be followed by instalments to total £23million. This was again rejected, and a reportedly distraught Berahino took to twitter to claim he would no longer play for the club for as long as the current chairman remains.
“We have a key player who has been very unsettled,” Peace said on Tuesday. “Those tactics have continued despite my making our position clear in my first conversation with Daniel Levy on this subject in mid-August. I said selling Saido so late in the window was not on our agenda. We are now left with the task of repairing the damage created by this unfortunate episode.”
The whole episode is one which also upsets Albion manager Tony Pulis, who has left the striker out of his side for the past three matches as he felt he wasn’t of the right frame of mind to play. The Welshman was willing to let the Burundi-born youngster leave the Hawthorns ahead of the transfer deadline ,but he is now stuck with a player who is clearly unhappy and refusing to play.
As for Spurs, they insist they stepped up their interest in Berahino well before mid-August, and only Albion publicly divulging that the player had handed in a transfer request had unsettled him. It has also been suggested that the White Hart Lane club, whilst offering structured payments, were willing to meet the valuation set by the Hawthorns club of £25million for their prized assets.
West Bromwich Albion
IN: Salomon Rondon (Zenit St Petersburg £12m), James Chester (Hull City £8m), Jonny Evans (Manchester United £6m), Rickie Lambert (Liverpool £3m), James McClean (Wigan Athletic £1.5m), Anders Lindegaard (Manchester United free), Serge Gnabry (Arsenal loan).
OUT: Joleon Lescott (Aston Villa £1m), Graham Dorrans (Norwich City undisclosed), Brown Ideye (Olympiakos £4m), Liam O’Neil (Chesterfield undisclosed), Chris Baird (Derby County free), Youssouf Mulumbu (Norwich City free), Jason Davidson (Huddersfield Town free).