West Brom winger James McClean closes in on Stoke City switch
James McClean is closing in on a switch from Albion to Championship rivals Stoke City.
The 29-year-old has not flown out to Portugal with the rest of the Baggies squad having been handed an extra week off after featuring in the Republic of Ireland’s summer internationals.
And Stoke are confident they can seal a move for the winger by the end of the week.
Albion have previously rejected a £4m bid from the Potters this summer because they wanted £6m, but talks remain ongoing and it's believed the two clubs are close to agreeing a fee.
Stoke boss Gary Rowett tried to sign McClean in January when he was at Derby, but had a £6m bid rejected at the time.
McClean would become the fifth player to leave Albion this summer, following Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley, Claudio Yacob and Boaz Myhill out of the door.
The Baggies are yet to sign any replacements, leaving their squad slightly thin at this stage in time.
The Baggies have also had to rebuff advances for Jay Rodriguez and Craig Dawson this summer.
West Ham had a £12m bid for Dawson rejected a couple of weeks ago but have not yet returned with a higher offer, while Burnley had a £25m bid for the pair turned down.
Albion are, however, stepping up their pursuit of Bristol City’s versatile forward Bobby Reid, although the Robins want £10m for the 25-year-old and Derby County are also interested.
McClean's effort went down well with fans initially, but relations with supporters soured towards the end of last season following some candid comments about this summer.
“Everyone wants to play Premier League football so I do think there will obviously be a lot of people looking at their next move or their future," he told Sky Sports last month.
"The fans just see it as if you do go down and players leave then you're a snake, or you've taken the club for a ride and this and that.
"But we've got families as well, we need to look after them. We've also got a career to look after as well, we want to be the best we can be. You have to look after yourself first and foremost."
McClean scored five goals and laid on seven assists in 112 appearances for the Baggies.