Monday, 8 August 2011

Reading's Shane Long set for WBA

West Bromwich Albion are poised to smash their transfer record to sign the Reading striker Shane Long, according to reports last night.Albion have held talks with Long's advisers over the weekend and are close to agreeing a fee of between £6m and £7m. It would surpass the £4.7m that the club paid Real Mallorca for the Spanish midfielder Borja Valero three years ago.West Bromwich's desire for a new striker is even more pressing as last season's leading scorer, Peter Odemwingie, is battling to overcome an ankle problem. Albion head coach Roy Hodgson is hoping to sign Long in time for Sunday's Premier League opener with Manchester United at the Hawthorns.It will be the first monetary outlay of the summer by Albion after Gareth McAuley, Zoltan Gera and Billy Jones arrived on Bosman free transfers and Ben Foster joined on loan from Birmingham City.Hodgson has been pursuing Long all summer after the 24-year-old scored 25 goals last season for Reading. West Ham last month failed with a bid thought to total around £7m with add-ons but Reading are believed to have told Long he can join a top-flight side if the price is right. Long has also been linked with Everton and Newcastle United.

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