West Bromwich Albion then we won’t let Peter Odemwingie go – Steve Clarke
STEVE Clarke will seek a replacement for Peter Odemwingie if the troubled forward leaves Albion – but admits it would be a major struggle finding anyone before tomorrow night’s 11pm deadline.
The Albion boss is confident Queens Park Rangers will not make any further offers for the 31-year-old, having already had two bids, of £2.5million and £3million, rejected.
But he did hint that Albion’s stance towards a potential sale was softening.
If Odemwingie does stay, Clarke accepts the player will have a lot of making up to do following his extraordinary Twitter outbursts since Saturday.
The Nigeria international will not feature at Everton tonight as he was granted time off to be with his recently-born son and wife, who were discharged from hospital on Monday.
Speaking about the prospect of losing Odemwingie, Clarke replied: “I want Peter to stay. There is no shift from my point of view. But there is an asking price for everyone.
“Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t for sale but then someone offered £75million.
“QPR have put two bids in for Peter and we’ve turned them down because we felt they weren’t acceptable to us.
“The ball is back in QPR’s court – they need to decide whether to make another bid.
“We have discussed (replacing Peter) but he would be difficult to replace which is why I’d rather he stayed.
“In an ideal world if I lost one of my key players I’d want to replace him – but it’s not that easy.”
Clarke continued: “Personally, I don’t think there is a third bid coming.
“I think we can keep him because if QPR don’t come up with a bid that’s acceptable to West Bromwich Albion then we won’t let him go.
“We are entitled to get what we think is a good price.
“If Peter is here on the first of February there will be different conversations to be had and bridges that will need mending. At the moment that’s speculation – we will see what happens.
“I’m disappointed with Peter’s comments and I’m sure the squad are disappointed with the situation.
“There will either be a resolution before the transfer window or Peter will be here on February 1 and we deal with that.
“If Peter can make a contribution between now and end of the season he will.
“I’m here to get to results and if I have to put up with difficult situations then I will.”
Clarke has yet to sit down with Odemwingie, who is expected to be fined two weeks wages for his social media comments.
“I will speak to him when he comes back,” added Clarke.
“Peter’s comments haven’t helped the situation but I feel he was really badly advised.
“I think Harry (Redknapp) alluded to it when he talked about gang warfare and agents trying to get a bit of the deal.
“There have been a number of things which have turned Peter’s head.
“It’s unfortunate for us, it’s unfortunate for QPR and it’s unfortunate for Peter because we now have a situation which has developed over the last few days which is no good for anybody.
“If he’s still here – there have been other cases in the past where players have fallen out with a club where there can always be a way back – I would expect him to add more goals to his West Bromwich Albion total.”