Struggling West Brom striker Saido Berahino has been sent to a specialist fitness trainer in France to continue his weight-loss programme.
The forward has made three Premier League starts this season – the last of which was in the 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth in September when Berahino missed a gilt-edge chance from four yards out.
The 23-year-old was deemed too fat for first-team action before the last international break in mid-October and Albion boss Tony Pulis put him on a strict fitness programme, but after not seeing the results they wanted the club has now flown the player to the south of France.
“Saido’s off at the moment at a fitness centre working with a fella I worked with when I was very young in management,” aid Baggies boss Pulis.
“He’s going to go through everything we’ve done so far to enable him to be at a level, fingers crossed when he does come back, where he’s not only sharp but at a level to maintain Premier League football.
“This is someone whose actually in France. He’ll look at everything we’ve done, assess what we’ve done and then make a judgement on what Saido has to do over the next two weeks before the Burnley game.”
Pulis would not reveal the name of the trainer.
“No,” he replied when asked who the trainer was. “It’s very upmarket and they’re very good. The fella is very good.
“He’s from a very good background and Saido understands he’s going down there to work.”
Berahino, who is out of contract next summer, was named in the senior England squad and emerging as one of the most highly-rated young strikers in the country a couple of years ago. And his top-flight future looked assured in the summer of 2015 when Tottenham Hotspur were chasing the Burundi-born forward.
That pursuit ultimately ended in failure after four offers were rejected including a final bid of around £23million and in July Stoke were the latest side to register a firm interest in the player. But now the former England Under-21 international looks all but set for the scrap heap after failing to keep the weight off.