Relegation Won’t Stop Baggies Pursuit of Argentine Midfielder

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West Bromwich Albion, without a manager and doomed to relegation to the Championship at the end of the season, are already planning ahead reports the Birmingham Mail.

Alan Pardew resigned as Baggies boss this afternoon after overseeing their fall from 16th to the bottom of the Premier League table. However, the club is still interested in Sporting Clube’s midfielder Rodrigo Battaglia.

West Brom offered €15m for the 26-year-old in the winter transfer window but after CEO Mark Jenkins derogatory comments about the parlous state of the club’s finances, it’s clearer why the deal did not progress beyond the Baggies opening bid.

Relegation from the top flight would put the Baggies on the backfoot with interest from West Ham and the Italian trio of Inter Milan, Napoli and Roma sure to overtake them. Battaglia’s agents and Sporting Clube will meet in April to discuss his future and whether it will be with the Lisbon-based club or in one of Europe’s major leagues.

However, the departure of Pardew may cause pause for thought from the player. Battaglia, capped at Under-20 level by Argentina but never at full international level, is keen to maintain European club competition,

He also refuses to give up hope of representing his country at senior level; dropping to the second-tier of English football won’t improve those distant prospects.