West Bromich Albion manager Steve Clarke keen to keep striker Shane Long

The Baggies boss said that he hopes to keep hold of Shane Long, but another Republic of Ireland striker, Simon Cox, could be on his way out of the Hawthorns
West Brom manager Steve Clarke has insisted striker Shane Long is not for sale amid speculation that his former club Reading are preparing a bid to re-sign him.

The Republic of Ireland forward scored his first goal of pre-season on Wednesday and new Baggies boss Clarke is adamant the Tipperary native is going nowhere.

“We’ve had absolutely nothing on Shane [Long],” said Clarke. “There have been no bids and he’s not for sale. He’s 100 per cent part of my plans.”

The 25 year old moved to the Midlands from Reading last August for around £6 million and has quickly become a fans favourite at the Hawthorns.

He appeared over thirty times last campaign for West Brom and scored eight times but there has been speculation surrounding his future with reports that Premier League new boys Reading are eyeing up a return for him.

Meanwhile, Simon Cox seems to be on his way out of West Brom after Clarke revealed the Irish striker had been left out of the squad for the friendly with Barnsley at the weekend because the Baggies received a bid from an unnamed club for his services.

It’s believed Championship side Blackburn Rovers are after the signature of Cox who was part of Giovanni Trapattoni’s Euro 2012 squad.

“A bid has been put in for Simon and you know what it’s like when something like that happens,” said Clarke.

“The player can become a little bit distracted so I made the decision not to bring him today. Things might resolve themselves over the weekend,” he added.