West Bromwich Albion are overstocked in defence, but Steve Bruce wants to bring in another centre-back this summer – Blackburn Rovers’ Darragh Lenihan.
Dara O’Shea, Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley should be regulars in the first-team next season and West Brom would like to sign Matthew Clarke on a permanent deal, so Cedric Kipre and Kean Bryan will be surplus to requirements.
Steve Madeley of The Athletic says if Bruce can offload unwanted defenders, that will make room for Lenihan. West Brom don’t have lucrative funds for new recruits, so they’ll want to trim the wage bill before adding to it.
Lenihan has made 252 appearances in all competitions since joining Blackburn from Belvedere in 2011, scoring 10 goals with six assists. He skippers the side and could be available on a free transfer this summer as his contract is up.
The Republic of Ireland international has made 41 Championship appearances this season, winning 209/297 aerial duels (70%), blocking 33 shots, making 167 clearances, being dribbled past (23) only once every 157 minutes and averaging a tackle (70) or interception (61) every 28 minutes.
He’d be a good addition to the backline, but West Brom must clear the deadwood first.