Shane Long is not for sale, declares Clarke

The Ireland international will be staying with high-flying West Brom, insists the manager, who is adamant that any bid made for the forward will be given short shrift
West Brom manager Steve Clarke warns that star striker Shane Long will not be able to leave the club when the transfer window re-opens in January.

The 25-year-old has scored four Premier League goals this season to help propel the Baggies to the Champions League qualification places.

But, speaking to the press, Clarke warned any potential suitors: "Clubs can want to buy Shane, they can come if they want — and the answer is 'no'.

"I am not going to hype up other clubs and who they should be bidding for but Shane is our player and he's not going anywhere.

13/2 Shane Long is 13/2 with PaddyPower to score the first goal in Sunderland v West Brom
"At the moment he is in a great vein of form. I've run out of superlatives to say about Shane.

"We are delighted with his efforts and I think the competition for places, especially in the forward area, is keeping everyone on their toes and we are the beneficiaries of that."

Long has had some injury troubles, however, but Clarke is optimistic that his striker will be up to the challenge of three games in a week against Sunderland, Swansea City and Stoke City.

"He has got tight hamstrings and we will look after him and make sure he it doesn't become a tear which will keep him out for eight weeks," the Baggies boss continued.

"If Shane has to play 90 minutes he can play 90 minutes, no problem."