Transfer Talk: Promoted trio struggle to bring in reinforcements

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The Independent Online

With just over a fortnight to go before the start of the Premier League season and a month of the transfer window remaining, the three clubs promoted from the Championship continue to struggle to bring in reinforcements.

West Bromwich Albion's deal for the former Manchester United and Aston Villa midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba fell through yesterday, after the 29-year-old travelled to the Hawthorns to discuss a deal. "Albion have decided not to pursue their interest in [the] Odense midfielder," a club statement read. "Following medical tests and further talks between the clubs, Albion have decided not to proceed."

The Albion manager Roberto di Matteo admitted the club's difficulties in attracting players was worrying, with potential moves for Stoke's James Beattie, the Liverpool striker David Ngog and PSV Eindhoven's Marcus Berg also stalling. "It is a big concern to us at the moment," Di Matteo said. "We are working on things but it's difficult. Everyone is after a striker. I've been saying since the end of last season that we need more players." Ishmael Miller is the club's only fit, experienced forward.

Centre-back Pablo Ibanez and former Blackburn midfielder Steven Reid have both moved to the Hawthorns on free transfers this summer, while Gabriel Tamas signed from Auxerre for £800,000.

Over at Blackpool Ian Holloway has also struggled to add to the squad which went up via the play-offs, with defender Dekel Keinan still to complete his free transfer from Maccabi Haifa to become the Tangerines' first signing of the summer.

Newcastle have had more success, having signed Sol Campbell, Dan Gosling and James Perch but have missed out on the likes of Raul, James McFadden and Nigel Reo-Coker.

Schalke

The former Spain striker Raul has signed a two-year contract with the Bundesliga side, after leaving Real Madrid earlier this week. "We have signed a world-class goal-scorer," Schalke coach said Felix Magath of the 33-year-old forward. "This is a great piece of news."

Newcastle

The Magpies have completed the signing of Sol Campbell on a one-year contract after the former England defender failed to agree a new deal with Arsenal. "At this stage of my career I couldn't have wished for a better move," the centre-back said. "I can't wait to get started."

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