West Brom in talks to sign international keeper Ben Foster

WEST Bromwich Albion have opened talks with Birmingham City aimed at signing goalkeeper Ben Foster on a permanent basis, the Baggies’ sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth has confirmed.

Foster spent last season on loan from Blues to Albion and was named their player of the year after helping them finish tenth in the Barclays Premier League.

The former England player has also been linked with QPR and Tottenham but has often admitted he was happy with life at the Hawthorns.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ashworth said: “We’ve started discussions with Birmingham and we hope we can find a solution that suits them and suits us.

“If we can’t, then no problem – we’ll have to move on. But it’s down to discussions with them.

“As with every transfer, the selling club has ‘X’ in mind and the buying club only value at ‘Y’ so you hope that you find a tipping point that suits both parties.”

Ashworth has also played down speculation that Swedish defender Jonas Olsson, who has one year left of his contract, is close to completing a move to West Ham.

He said: “Jonas is still under contract and nobody has contacted me or anybody else at West Bromwich Albion about a transfer.

“He is one of our most important players and we would like to keep him like we did last year with Youssouf Mulumbu and Peter Odemwingie last year.

“We’re trying to build a squad not sell our best players.”

Meanwhile, Barclays Premier League newcomers Reading are one of several English clubs in talks with Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, according to his agent.

The 28-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham from German side Stuttgart, netting six goals in 12 appearances.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pogrebnyak is out of contract this summer, and it has been reported newly-promoted Reading are poised to sign him up on a four-year deal worth around £65,000-a-week after the striker turned down an offer from the Cottagers. However, Pogrebnyak’s representative Oleg Artemov maintains nothing is yet decided.