Clarke expects Long stay

Last Updated: Wed, 23 Oct 2013 14:14

West Brom boss Steve Clarke expects striker Shane Long to remain with the club following speculation over his future.

Long admitted earlier this week that he is yet to agree fresh terms at the Hawthorns and has just eight month left on his current deal, with a one-year option in the club's favour.

The Republic of Ireland international nearly completed a switch to Hull City in the summer but the deal broke down.

However, Long's contract situation has led to speculation he could be on the move in January, but Clarke expects the forward to stay and insists he sees the 26-year-old as a key player for the Baggies.

"Contract negotiations now seem to take forever," Clarke told the Birmingham Mail. "It is just a normal negotiation.

"Shane's people came in with a price they wanted, the club have a price that they want and, if Shane says there's no negotiation at the moment, then that's the case. I've read what he's said and it made a lot of sense.

"He seems happy enough here and, after an injury-interrupted start to the season, he needs a settled spell without injury, working in training all the time.

"And he needs to get out on the pitch and start producing the form he showed last season when he was a big player for the club.

"I'm convinced he will be a big player for the club in the future."

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