BROM OPEN TALKS

West Brom have started talks with Birmingham City over the potential transfer of goalkeeper Ben Foster. The technical director of the Midlands club has now confirmed this news.

Ben Foster represented West Brom in the Premier league last season after arriving on a loan deal, but it is thought that the Premier league club are interested in making the move permanent after having seen the former Man Utd goalkeeper impress during his one season at the club. West Brom finished the last season in the 10th position, which is a far cry from the relegation positions they were expected to occupy at the end of the season.

Ben Foster has said on a number of occasions that he would be extremely happy to make the move permanent because he was happy with life at West Brom. Even though West Brom are interested in securing his signature, the technical director of the club Dan Ashworth has confirmed that the club will not be held to ransom. As a result, they will be willing to pursue other targets if they are not able to come to an agreement with their arch rivals Birmingham city, who failed to return to the Premier league after failing in the play-offs last season.

"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," said the technical director of the Midlands club Dan Ashworth.

Meanwhile, he has also rejected speculation that David Beckham is close to securing a West Ham move.

BROM BOSS SET FOR ENGLAND POST

West Brom manager Roy Hodgson was recently unveiled as the new England manager. However, he will continue to remain as the West Brom manager for the remaining two matches of the Premier league season.

This has not prevented the club from looking at the possible replacements now itself. A lot of big names have been linked with the job including the likes of former West Ham manager Alan Curbishley. Alan Curbishley has been out of work for quite a while now, but it is thought that he is now ready to return to management after doing a lot of punditry work on television.

Birmingham City manager Chris Hughton, though, is believed to be the front-runner for the job given his experience of having managed both in the Championship and the Premier league with great success. Chris Hughton has managed to lead Birmingham into the play-offs position, despite the huge number of well-documented financial problems surrounding the club. Even though he has not spent a lot of money, he has been able to get the best out of his players at his disposal. Many also regard him to be extremely unlikely to get the sack from the Newcastle United managerial position.

"The board will now concentrate on the important task of appointing a new head coach to continue our project as we prepare for a third successive season in the Barclays Premier League. We did not want Roy to leave and he will be a tough act to follow. Roy's appointment as England manager is obviously disappointing news for the club as we would have liked him to sign a new contract, which was in the process of negotiation, and remain here," said club chairman Jeremy Peace regarding the appointment of a new manager and the disappointment of losing Roy Hodgson.

FOSTER HAPPY IN RETIREMENT

Former England goalkeeper Ben Foster has said that he is more than happy to be involved only with his club West Bromwich Albion. Ben Foster announced his international retirement last season after failing to make it into the first-team spot.

He has been playing second fiddle to Joe Hart for most of the international matches under Fabio Capello. He said that he initially choose to retire due to the number of niggling injuries he was sustaining. Ben Foster accounted the number of international matches that he had to be involved due to this aspect.

Now, Ben Foster says that he is more than happy to stay retired due to the fact that he has been able to avoid a number of injuries as result of it. One of the main reasons for people to think about Ben Foster coming back from retirement is due to the lack of a second choice goalkeeper to Joe Hart. Even though the Manchester City goalkeeper has established himself as the first choice within England ranks, Fabio Capello has been unable to find a suitable replacement if anything happens to the Manchester City man. Ben Foster used to be that player, but in his absence, there has been none to step up to the plate.

"The main reason to stop playing for England was to get rid of any niggling injuries - and at the moment I have stayed injury free. I am happy with the way things are going at the moment," Ben Foster said when asked about a possible return from retirement. So far, Ben Foster has played in 14 matches for West Brom and has kept three clean sheets for them. He has been instrumental in West Brom surviving relegation battle up until now, and it seems that the former Manchester United goalkeeper wants it that way.

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