According to The Birmingham Mail, West Brom have set out the conditions that suitors of left-back Kieran Gibbs must meet if they want to buy the former Arsenal man.
Sporting Lisbon are pursuing the 28-year-old (valued at £7.2m on Transfermarkt.co.uk), and he has said that he would like to leave. If history is anything to go by, when a player wants to leave a club, it is best he is sold, as it is unlikely that they will get the best out of that player.
West Brom’s terms are that Gibbs is bought outright, rather than a loan with the option to buy. This may be a clever ploy by The Baggies in order to buy time as they look for a replacement for Gibbs. Because that is something that they certainly must do.
With just over a week left for manager Darren Moore to find a replacement, West Brom should not do any business with any club regarding Gibbs, unless his successor is found. West Brom could find themselves in a terrible position come September if they fail to have this foresight.
Gibbs is a high level performer, a Champions League player and an England international; it will be hard to replace him with someone from another club, let alone his club. The Baggies will find themselves very thin on the ground when it comes to defenders if they sell him. While they are relatively well-stocked when it comes to centre-backs, they are weaker in the fullback positions.
Conor Townsend is a candidate to replace Gibbs, and while he is a serviceable alternative, there is no room for injuries or resting periods, which can really stretch a squad. That why it is simply essential to have a contingency plan if Gibbs does depart.
Darren Moore is not foolish. He will know the state his club will be left in if Gibbs leaves, so he must act accordingly.