West Brom boss Tony Pulis is prepared to cup-tie Saido Berahino – even if it harms any potential transfer.
The striker has been on the bench for nine straight games ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup visit of Bristol City.
Pulis claims five teams are interested in Berahino with Stoke reportedly joining the chase for the England Under-21 international.
Berahino has not started a game since October and has only scored three times this season but Pulis is ready to play him against the Robins despite the ongoing speculation.
He said: “You could spin that round and say if he’s leaving, why are we getting him fit for someone else?
“Whichever way you want to spin it you can spin it and there is always another side to it.
“If I feel it’s right to play Saido from the start I will play him, if I feel he’s better coming off the bench again I will do that.
“It’s just what’s right for the team and the football club. That’s very important for everybody to understand.
“It’s about the club. It’s about the Albion. It’s not about anybody else.”
The Baggies expect further interest from Tottenham this month after they had four bids rejected in the summer – causing Berahino to threaten to strike on deadline day.
Pulis added: “I think there are about four or five clubs who might be interested and Stoke might be one of them.”