West Brom forced to sweat over Barcelona’s striker quest

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Like a tornado gathering pace, Barcelona’s pursuit of backup strikers has swept up all sorts of unexpected names and the latest to officially enter the swirl has only confirmed West Brom fears.

A splash by the Daily Mirror adds weight to mounting suspicions in the west Midlands that Salomon Rondon is wanted by the Spanish behemoths.

According to the red top, the Baggies centre-forward is among half a dozen players ring fenced as viable understudies to the Camp Nou’s holy trinity of strikers, consisting of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Others mentioned in the frame include Newcastle’s Ayoze Perez, Valencia’s Paco Alcacer and West Ham target Carlos Bacca, though Rondon’s start to the season may have move him ahead of some contenders.

The Venezuelan international, who netted 10 goals across his debut season for Tony Pulis’s side, began the 2016/17 campaign with a goal-scoring, man-of-the-match display to sink Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

The 26-year-old’s performance had his teammates and pundits purring in unison and would have offered Luis Enrique’s Camp Nou scouts plenty in the way of encouragement.

A decisive move from Barcelona would be most unwelcome in West Brom’s current circumstances however.

The new owners are already under pressure to facilitate new signings, with Pulis publically bemoaning the lack of fresh faces during the current transfer window.

Even for a chunk of money, losing their star player and most reliable source of goals would border on catastrophe unless they could replace Rondon in the same breath.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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