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West Brom shelve Charlie Taylor deal and prioritise spine of the team

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published: | Last Updated:

Albion have cooled their interest in Charlie Taylor in order to prioritise the spine of the team.

Charlie Taylor

The Baggies had been in talks with Leeds United over a compensation fee for the 23-year-old, who is a free agent this summer, in order to remove the uncertainty of a tribunal bill.

It's believed the deal was ready to be completed, with Taylor's demands affordable, but the club have now shelved those plans and will redirect their funds into signing a centre-back and a striker instead.

Although Albion do not have a single recognised left-back in the senior squad now Sebastien Pocognoli has been released, head coach Tony Pulis was impressed with Allan Nyom's performances there last season and is also comfortable playing Chris Brunt in the role.

Pulis currently has just two senior strikers at the club, and Hal Robson-Kanu picked up a knee injury on international duty.

He also has just four senior defenders after Jonas Olsson was released, and there are concerns over the availability of both his main centre-backs next season.

Star man and captain-in-waiting Jonny Evans has already been the subject of a £10million bid from Leicester City this summer and is expected to generate more interest as the window wears on, although the Baggies insist he is not for sale.

Gareth McAuley aggravated a thigh injury on international duty and is expected to miss part of pre-season.

Although the club's medical team are confident he will be fit for the season-opener at home to Bournemouth in August, his injury serves as a stark reminder that it would be dangerous to rely so heavily on the 37-year-old next season.

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Although the club haven't ruled out signing a left-back later this summer, they are now focusing on other positions.

Taylor is a free agent this summer, but because he's under 24, Leeds are entitled to compensation from any club that signs him, and if no deal can be agreed between the two clubs it heads to tribunal.

Liverpool, who have also been interested in Taylor, were ordered to pay Burnley a total of £8m after snapping the striker up on a free transfer.

However, Leeds have nurtured Taylor since he was a schoolboy and, accounting for inflation in the football market, may have been in line for more.

The highly-rated young full-back, who fell out with former Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, refused to play on the final day of the season.

However, United have since been taken over by Andrea Radrizzani and Taylor has been offered a two-year contract, although that was believed to be just so they could guarantee his value at tribunal. They appointed Thomas Christiansen as manager today.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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