Steve Clarke: Shane Long is going nowhere

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West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke today laughed off reports of a possible January move for leading scorer Shane Long – and backed Markus Rosenberg to come good for the Baggies.

Clarke played down suggestions that Long could make a big-money switch after Liverpool were linked with a potential bid.

The Ireland international has seven goals this season and has caught the eye with a string of impressive performances.

But Clarke insisted: "For me it's lazy journalism. Liverpool need a striker and Shane is playing well so a journalist has put it together and tried to make a story out of it. Shane is not for sale and I'd be very surprised if Brendan Rodgers wanted to take Shane."

Long's displays are certain to have been noted by the Premier League's big-boys but a bid from Anfield is thought to be unlikely, with Long's Reading career having stuttered under Reds boss Rodgers before Brian McDermott restored him to top form.

Meanwhile, Clarke is confident Sweden international Rosenberg will find his feet in England after a difficult full Premier League debut in Saturday's loss to Stoke.

"It was a game that was difficult for anyone to shine in," said Clarke. "He didn't get many chances. Markus will score goals, for sure, we've no doubt about that."

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