Date:Saturday June 24 2006
Jeremy Peace is standing his ground and has reiterated that the clubs star players are NOT FOR SALE.
The news comes after Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan offered £10 million for Curtis Davies, Zoltan Gera and former Latics striker Nathan Ellington in a bid to strengthen the Premier League`s club position next season. It is thought that the Latics have offered £6 million for Davies and £2 million a piece for Gera and Ellington.
Albion fans will be pleased to hear the chairman`s comments concerning these players but will be wondering how long the chairman can hold out as bids start coming in thick and fast for our star players.
Star defender Curtis Davies impressed for the Baggies last season after joining the club as an unknown quantity from Luton Town. His performances during the Baggies premiership campaign earned him rave reviews and a place in the England Under 21 squad on a regular basis.
The performances of Davies alerted top clubs to his ability and he has now attracted a lot more interest since the Baggies relegation and Albion do not want him to leave. A host of top flight clubs have started sniffing around Davies and a couple of bids have already been turned down for the defender.
Spurs have already had a £3.5 million offer turned down for the defender and the Wigan offer has also been rejected but with Manchester City, Newcastle and Arsenal also interested in Davies it is likely that it`s just a matter of time before Albion receive an offer suitable enough to allow Davies to move on. Arsenal are the defenders preferred move and they have already said that they will not be involved in a bidding war, instead they will wait until another club has had an offer accepted and match that offer when it arrives.
Zoltan Gera has supposedly asked for a transfer according to rumours over the last couple of days and if this is true I for one will be extremely disappointed and I am sure that my feelings would be shared by a number of fans. The Magic Magyar was influential in our Great Escape of two seasons ago but last season was one to forget for Gera.
The midfielder spent most of last season in the Baggies treatment room with a number of different niggling injuries and only managed a handful of games. Albion allowed the Hungarian international to go back home to Hungary to help aid his recovery and the club did all they could to help him get back to full fitness.
Gera spoke back in May of his intention to stay with the club and aid the Baggies in their attempts to gain promotion back to the Premier League. Gera told Sky Sports, "I have a contract with West Brom for one more year and I start training with West Brom soon.
"Yeah I think so I will stay.
"After this season I spoke with the manager and he said that he wants all the players to stay at West Brom and we want to go up again to the Premier League."
If it is true that Gera has asked for a transfer then his status of being a firm fan favourite will be soured. Gera is a fan favourite and his commitment to the club has been fantastic, his debut season was one to remember and his ability is amazing and maybe it is too good for the Championship but asking for a transfer is not the way of going about it.
If you are as good as Gera you don`t need to ask for a transfer as clubs will always show an interest. If Wigan come in with an acceptable offer for the midfielder I hope for one he turns down a move, with no disrespect to Wigan there are bigger clubs in that division who will show an interest in Zoltan giving him more opportunity to be a success.
Until I know for definite whether Gera has asked for a transfer my opinion remains that he is a class act and one of my favourite players, he puts his heart into everything and whenever he pulls on the stripes he gives 100%. Stay Zoltan and help us get back up to the Premiership, you will be hard to replace.
As for Ellington he has had a mixed spell for the club since he joined from Wigan last summer. Ellington signed for £3 million the start of last season and left Wigan due to a contractual dispute. He left under a cloud and his name was dirt to a number of Wigan fans, but their manager Paul Jewell has always been a big fan of the striker and never wanted him to leave.
Ellington on his day looks good, he has a cracking shot on him and when he is confident he can score for fun. When you turn the tables though and things are not going as well the player lacks interest and motivation and it feels though you are carrying him. He struggled for fitness last season and this hampered his involvement in the side, many Baggies fans including myself used him as a kind of scapegoat towards the end of last season, accusing him of not caring enough.
I was hoping that this season we would see the Nathan Ellington that we signed, a confident, strong forward who can score goals. Ellington has spoken on the official Baggies website of his intent to stay and get a full pre-season under his belt. Ellington is a talent and I know that he can fire the goals to help us gain promotion next season, I just hope that he feels that he has a job to finish at The Hawthorns and that he wants to prove himself at the club.
One thing is for sure if we lose Davies and Ellington we are going to be extremely short in terms of squad size.
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