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West Brom closing in on a deal for Swansea City defender Kyle Bartley

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Albion are close to agreeing a deal in the region of £3.5m for Swansea centre-back Kyle Bartley that will boost their threadbare backline.

Kyle Bartley. (AMA)

Bartley, who is also wanted by Leeds, is keen to leave South Wales this summer after growing frustrated over a lack of minutes.

Leeds had tried to sign him earlier in the summer following his successful loan spell at Elland Road in the 2016/17 season but the Baggies have moved ahead of them in the queue.

Albion are now in talks with Swansea over the 27-year-old, who came through the academy ranks at Arsenal before moving in 2012.

Bartley’s arrival will be a huge boost to head coach Darren Moore, who has already lost two centre-backs this summer and could lose two more.

Jonny Evans joined Leicester for £3.5m, and Gareth McAuley was released.

There is also uncertainty over the futures of Albion’s two remaining centre-backs. Ahmed Hegazi has a £10m release clause in his contract and Craig Dawson is agitating for a move to Burnley.

The defender was fined after refusing to go on Moore’s pre-season training camp to Portugal.

He hasn’t travelled to Scotland this week either for another training camp, although he was given permission to miss it by Moore following the recent birth of his child.

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James McClean was not given permission to skip the Scotland training camp and is set to be fined by the club for refusing to go.

Stoke are trying to sign the Republic of Ireland international this summer but the Baggies do not want to let the winger go before lining up a replacement first.

Albion have already lost five players this window and have signed just one new face so far, goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

Stockport-born Bartley was a Bolton youth team player before Arsenal signed him at the age of 16.

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He won the FA Youth Cup with the Gunners before joining Swansea in 2012 for £1m.

He struggled to break into the South Wales side and played just a handful of times for them but enjoyed successful loan spells in the Championship at both Birmingham City and Leeds.

There are a number of clubs interested in Albion’s existing players.

Burnley are keen on Jay Rodriguez, Newcastle are eyeing up Salomon Rondon, and former Baggies boss Tony Pulis is hoping to lure Matt Phillips to Middlesbrough for a reunion.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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