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The Scot is concerned that bigger clubs may be sniffing around his star players, but has already begun scouting his own potential new recruits for the end of the season

West Brom manager Steve Clarke is expecting other teams to express an interest in some of his current squad, and has begun exploring potential targets should key players leave.

Clarke has enjoyed a successful debut season in full-time management, with the Baggies sitting ninth place in the Premier League after a lightning start to the current campaign saw them move as high as third after 13 games.

The the 49-year-old has conceded that it may be harder to prevent rivals from targeting his star performers, and is preparing a list of replacements in light of this.

He told reporters: "We've had a really good season and maybe some other, bigger clubs will show an interest in some of the players we've got.

"[The summer transfer window] a little bit longer, there's a little bit more time for us to have targets to go for and for other clubs to come in and try to take some of ours.

"Myself and my coaching staff have been out across Europe over the last three or four weeks looking at potential targets for next season.

"I'm not going to give too much away but we saw some good games and a lot of good players. The club is well-organised, the scouting department is good.”

And Clarke is hoping that his team’s surprise victory in their last league outing against Liverpool will help provide fresh momentum for a push up the table in the remaining games.

Clarke added: "The result at Liverpool was the result we needed. We had a negative run of results which stretched into about six weeks.

"But we are hoping the Anfield result is the one that kick-starts the final third of the season and we go onto achieve good things for the club."

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