West Brom interested in signing Obafemi Martins

 

West Brom will have to splash out £3m if they want to pursue their
interest in signing striker Obafemi Martins from Rubin Kazan, Press
Association Sport understands.

It is believed former Newcastle striker Martins is keen to return to the Barclays Premier League and be closer to his family, who still live in England.

He has endured a difficult season with Rubin even though he helped them to win the Russian Cup in May, his first trophy success after his move from Wolfsburg in 2009 for £13.5million.

But the 27-year-old was left devastated by the death of his elder brother, Oladipupo, from a suspected heart attack last August.

Martins went on loan to Birmingham during the January 2011 transfer window and the following month scored the winning goal in their shock Carling Cup final win over Arsenal.

Albion are understood to have enquired about also signing Martins on a temporary basis, but have been told any possible deal will have to be permanent.

A new striker is one of the priorities for new Albion head coach Steve Clarke, who will meet the current squad for the first time when Albion report back for pre-season training on Sunday.

One of the players released at the end of last season, Paul Scharner, believes his desire to play as a centre-back was a factor in him not being offered a new contract at The Hawthorns.

Scharner, who spent four years at Albion, said: "I still feel there is much more to come from me and it's a shame it won't be at West Brom.

"But I want to play at centre-half and West Brom have four players in that position already.

"The rest of the world outside of England still regards me as a centre-half and it's where I've played the last two games for Austria.

"I told West Brom of my intentions and that contributed to the club's decision (not to offer a new contract)."

Clarke also has to sort out the future of Swedish central defender Jonas Olsson who is entering the final year of his current contract.

PA

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