It must be distracting being the centre of attention during your club’s last three transfer windows – but that’s a position West Brom striker Saido Berahino finds himself in – and with less than a week until the transfer window closes, he still remains a Baggies player, having repeatedly expressed his desire to leave.
A year ago it was Tottenham Hotspur who were linked with a move for the now-23-year-old striker, but in the midst of a bidding war a deal eventually came to nothing and Spurs have since spent money elsewhere.
Crystal Palace were favourites for Berahino’s signature but, once again, arguments between clubs over a transfer fee led Palace boss Alan Pardew to explore other options, and the Eagles have since spent £30m on Christian Benteke.
So where does that leave the striker who was once tipped to be an England star? Ladbrokes News have assessed three possible options for Berahino between now and close of business next Wednesday night.
As well as Crystal Palace, Stoke City have also been linked with a move for Berahino this summer, but (surprise surprise) so far the Potters and the Baggies have failed to agree on a price for a striker.
Manager Mark Hughes likes to play Bojan, Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri in behind a striker – and that role has so far been filled by Mame Biram Diouf, and so the possible acquisition of Saido Berahino would perhaps be a step up in quality.
However, a reported asking price of £25m might just put Hughes off.
Though few people have spoken about this move taking place this summer, it actually makes perfect sense.
The Hammers haven’t shied away from their intentions of signing a striker during this transfer window, and although manager Slavan Bilic brought in Andre Ayew from Swansea City, the 26-year-old tends to operate more as a winger, and he’s also expected to be out for roughly four months with injury.
And on the subject of injury, West Ham forward Andy Carroll also faces time on the sidelines with a knee problem.
While Wilfried Bony is the name on Hammers fans’ lips, but it wouldn’t be a shock if Bilic opted for the West Brom man instead.
Don’t be surprised if Berahino is still a Baggies player come September 1st.
And that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. So far this summer Tony Pulis is yet to spend any money on a striker, and although several names have been linked with a move to the Hawthorns, such lack of activity suggests the 58-year-old Welshman has faith in his current crop of forwards.
He’d have good reason to as well, as one of his strikers has been linked with a surprise move to Barcelona (Salamon Rondon) and Berahino himself has scored more goals in a Premier League season than any other Baggies player in the past.
If Pulis can rebuild a seemingly broken bridge between himself and Berahino, it might be the Black Country outfit who will end up reaping the rewards of a top striker.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.