West Brom boss Steve Clarke rejects Shane Long Liverpool link

Shane Long: Staying at West Brom, says Steve Clarke

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West Brom manager Steve Clarke has denied suggestions striker Shane Long may join Liverpool in the January transfer window.

The Republic of Ireland international has scored seven goals in 16 appearances for the Baggies this season, leading to speculation he may become a transfer target.

But Clarke insists there is no truth in the rumours linking him with Liverpool, despite a lack of firepower in Brendan Rodgers' side.

"Liverpool need a striker, Shane is playing well, so a lazy journalist puts it together and makes a story out of it," Clarke told the Birmingham Mail.

"Shane is not for sale. And I'd be very surprised if Brendan Rodgers wanted to take Shane anyway.

"People are merely looking at connections and making stories out of it."

Meanwhile, Clarke also confirmed goalkeeper Ben Foster is recovering well following his groin operation, although a sickness bug is causing him problems.

Yassine El Ghanassy was forced to sit out West Brom U21s victory over Bolton while a number of other first team players have also been struck down.

"Yassine is sick, we've had a sickness virus at the club," added Clarke.

"Boaz Myhill was also sick last week. He didn't travel with us to Swansea. He actually came down on the day of the game.

"Billy Jones was also sick overnight on Friday - he wasn't even in the stadium - and now Yassine is unwell. Ben is improving (from his operation) which is good news for us. We will see how he gets on."