Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will compete for the services of Saido Berahino, the West Bromwich Albion striker whose club are asking £20m for the player in this transfer window.
It has been indicated that Berahino’s refusal to celebrate any of his four goals against Gateshead in the FA Cup third-round 7-0 win on Saturday was an expression of the situation he finds himself in at West Bromwich, even though the club’s new manager, Tony Pulis, said otherwise after the match.
Berahino is understood to be unhappy that he has been portrayed as a difficult individual to manage. An academy player, he feels that a reputation has been constructed for him in recent weeks, one that is out of keeping with the reality.
He has spoken to the club’s director of football administration, Richard Garlick, on the matter and for now there are, as technical director Terry Burton has said, no plans to negotiate a new deal.
Berahino has two years of his contract to run after this season, and there is considerable interest in him. Daniel Levy, the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, is eager to sign the player this month, although he does not want to pay Albion’s asking price.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino is thought to be less keen since the emergence of Harry Kane, so much will depend on whether the club can find a way of moving either Emmanuel Adebayor or Roberto Soldado off the wage bill.
Liverpool are interested, too, despite their surfeit of strikers. The club still hope that they will be able to bring back on-loan Belgian teenager Divock Origi from Lille this month for a fee. The French club will have to agree to break the season-long deal first.
The bad news for manager Brendan Rodgers is that Adam Lallana’s calf injury will mean the England international misses the next month.