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Walsall still hopeful on Tyler Roberts

Walsall boss Jon Whitney is still hoping to extend Tyler Roberts’ loan from Albion – despite reports the striker is closing in on a move to Rangers.

Tyler Roberts
Tyler Roberts

The 19-year-old, whose switch to the Banks’s Stadium expires on January 26, is being monitored by a host of clubs both in the Football League and abroad with French outfit Marseille also keen.

Roberts is out of contract at Albion this summer meaning clubs outside of England can sign him for a set compensation fee of just £300,000.

Reports in Scotland claim Rangers are set to take advantage of that loophole, with a deal said to be close.

But it is unclear if they want to push through a deal now or wait until the end of the season.

Albion have offered Roberts a new contract and remain hopeful he will stay at The Hawthorns.

And if he does, he could then re-join Walsall on loan.

“We’re still talking to Albion because we want to keep Tyler,” Whitney said.

“I think for his best interests, he should stay. I think young players need to play games – under-23 football is not what Tyler needs.

“It won’t motivate him and it won’t help him to develop.

“I’m hoping, because we’ve got such a great relationship and understanding, that we will know this week.

"That helps me then because then I know if I’ve got to replace him.”

Meanwhile, Albion have been linked with a move for Fulham's Tom Cairney.

It is believed the London club want £15millon for the attacking midfielder.

The Cottagers skipper has made 17 appearances in the Championship this term, scoring once but has recently been sidelined with a knee injury.

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