Express & Star

Cedric Kipre close to leaving West Brom

Boss Steve Bruce has confirmed Cedric Kipre is close to leaving Albion – with the defender understood to be closing in on a loan move to Cardiff.

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The centre-back has struggled for minutes at The Hawthorns ever since arriving in a £900,000 deal from Wigan in 2020.

It had been widely expected Kipre would leave Albion this summer with the club eager to balance the books and reduce the wage bill following the signings of John Swift and Jed Wallace and the imminent arrival of Okay Yokuslu.

And speaking after the friendly win at Northampton on Wednesday, Bruce confirmed he left Kipre out of the squad for the game because he is close to a move away.

"With Kipre we are close with another club so we didn’t want to take any risks," Bruce said.

"I’m not going to tell you what club it is, but it’s in Wales!"

As well as Kipre, fellow centre-backs Kyle Bartley and Kean Bryan also didn't feature at Sixfields – with the injured duo yet to feature in pre-season.

Bartley injured his ankle towards the end of last season but isn't too far away from returning to full training.

Bruce, meanwhile, days Bryan still has a long way to go – with the former Sheffield United man still recovering from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained in November last year.

"Kean Bryan has still unfortunately got a long way to go even though he’s six and a half months in," Bruce said.

"Bartley is on the grass. I’d expect him to return to training in the next couple of days."

One player who came off injured at Sixfields was Callum Robinson with the forward sustaining a dead leg early in the first half.

Earlier this week, Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe confirmed he is interested in signing the forward.

Asked about Lowe's comments saying he wants to take Robinson to Deepdale, Bruce said: "What can I say to someone else’s comments? I’m sure he does like him, in this day and age it’s alright talking about other people’s players.

"I’m sure there are a lot who like him, but so do I."