West Brom are ready to step up their efforts to land Salomon Kalou after boss Steve Clarke identified the former Chelsea forward as his No 1 transfer target.
The Baggies chief wants four more signings before his side kick off their Premier League campaign against Southampton on August 17.
But Clarke has made Kalou a top priority as he looks to reunite the 27-year-old with ex-Stamford Bridge team-mate Nicolas Anelka – the club’s only new face of the summer so far.
West Brom have been tracking Kalou for several months with the Ivory Coast international keen to return to England from Lille, where he enjoyed a successful time last season following a move from Chelsea a year ago.
A transfer fee of £2.6million would trigger Kalou’s Lille release clause but negotiations are currently stalling on wages.
Kalou is believed to be earning around £80,000 per week in France – although he is willing to compromise.
Chairman Jeremy Peace is traditionally reluctant combine a transfer fee with big wages but Clarke will hope the Baggies owner backs his judgement again.
Last summer’s two big signings – Claudio Yacob and Romelu Lukaku – enjoyed excellent seasons.
Clarke wants forwards who can operate out wide after releasing Marc-Antoine Fortune and Jerome Thomas and Peter Odemwingie almost certainly on his way out.
Clarke said: “Between now and the end of the transfer window – if no-one went out – we’d need another four players to add to the squad.
“When you’re chasing players you’re always making enquiries and always speaking to people.
“It would be wrong for us to mention names, or comment on names, but we are pursuing a number of targets.
“Whether they happen tomorrow or whether they happen next week, no-one can tell.
“So you have to be patient – trust me you have to be really patient!
“Richard Garlick and the chairman – it’s of their job to bring the players to me.
“I’m the head coach I get to work with the players when they bring them to me, hopefully, to turn them into a team which can be competitive in the Premier League.
“At the moment, I’m not nervous because I know the people I have in mind, I know they are good targets.
"They are realistic targets and they haven’t gone anywhere else. So I have no reason to be nervous at the moment.”Subscribe to our Newsletter