West Brom looking to secure French U21 star’s signature

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Having sold Shane Long and with Nicolas Anelka and Stephane Sessegnon sidelined through injury, new West Brom boss Pepe Mel is back in for Espanyol’s 21-year-old forward Thievy Bifouma.

The new man at the Baggies’ helm will have realised pretty sharpish that his team will be sucked straight into the relegation quicksand if he doesn’t begin to change their fortunes quickly.

Only one win in 13 Premier League outings means they already have one foot in it, though Mel is now hoping to add some more attacking impetus to his squad in the closing hours of the January transfer window, in the form of Thievy.

It’s not the first time that the Hawthorns outfit have been linked to the La Liga and French U21 player, but according to reports in the local press, West Brom’s efforts are now being stepped up considerably.

After a midweek Midlands derby defeat, some positive news in the transfer market would be a particularly welcoming lift around the Hawthorns, especially with a rampant Liverpool side the next visitors.

In Sunday’s first televised offering of the afternoon, West Brom are given clear outsider status by Ladbrokes at plump odds of 4/1, while Brendan Rodgers’ visitors are a skimpy sounding 4/6 shot to net the points.

While Thievy’s contributions to the Spanish side have been largely limited to coming off the bench, the Frenchman has still managed to score three times following second-half introductions this season in only 11 appearances.

Given Mel’s wide knowledge of La Liga, having managed many Spanish sides including Real Betis last time out, he’s clearly been impressed with what he’s seen of the youngster.

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