IRELAND STRIKER Shane Long left the national team’s base for England on Monday as he looked on the brink of a Deadline Day transfer to Hull City.
The deal ultimately broke down and the Tipperary native goes into a crucial World Cup qualification double header knowing he’ll return to the Hawthorns next week as a West Brom player.
Questions remain about Long’s standing at the Premier League club however with some reports suggesting he remains with the Baggies only because other deals broke down for Steve Clarke. Tonight, however, West Brom have moved to draw a line under the episode.
“Hull unexpectedly contacted us on Monday and tabled an acceptable offer for Shane,” the club’s sporting and technical director said in a statement. “Given that every player has his price, we discussed it as a club.
“We accepted Hull’s offer in principle and gave them permission to speak to Shane, but the deal depended on many other factors – including a real reluctance to sell.
“In a phone conversation with Shane’s representative, I informed him that Shane was under no pressure to leave. We were definitely not trying to force him out. Hull then informed us they could not finance the deal they had tabled and wanted to reduce it to a level that the club would never have accepted in the first place.
“Given that Shane was not a player we were looking to sell, we ended all negotiations with Hull there and then. Contrary to media reports, the decision to keep Shane had absolutely nothing to do with Romelu Lukaku opting to join Everton.
“Shane remains a West Bromwich Albion player and we’re delighted he’s still here. He’s played an important role in the club’s recent progress and we are sure he will make another big contribution this term,” he adds.
Ireland face Sweden in Dublin on Friday night before travelling to face Austria in Vienna on Tuesday.