West Brom manager Clarke hoping for Lukaku stay

The Baggies boss is hoping that Roman Abramovich's decision to sack Roberto Di Matteo and replace him with Rafa Benitez will not result in a recall for the on-loan Belgium striker

West Brom boss Steve Clarke is hopeful that Romelu Lukaku will remain at the Hawthorns beyond January, after parent club Chelsea's decision to part company with Roberto Di Matteo and hire Rafa Benitez.

Roman Abramovich's decision to bring in the former Liverpool boss could potentially see the 19-year-old brought back to Stamford Bridge and, despite the forward claiming that he wishes to stay with the high-flying Baggies for the remainder of the season, Clarke is aware that such a move would be out of his control.

"I can't control the uncontrollable. If Chelsea choose to take him back in January then there's nothing I can do, but I'd be surprised," the Baggies boss told ESPN. "We have spoken about it [within the club] and we know exactly what we'll do if it happens. I have no plans to speak to Chelsea.

"Mr Benitez will have to assess his players and see what he's got. He'll want to see what he wants to do with the squad and then I'm sure he'll make the phone call to us."

West Brom is in fourth position in the Premier League, a point behind Chelsea, as it travels to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland on Saturday.


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