West Brom boss Tony Pulis admits the on-going speculation surrounding Saido Berahino has affected the striker in ways he has never seen.
Tottenham are expected to renew their interest in the striker in January, especially with Clinton Njie out for at least two months, after having four bids rejected in the summer. Berahino threatened to go on strike after two offers were turned down on deadline day.
The 22-year-old’s form has dipped and he has scored just three goals this season, with Pulis naming him on the bench for the last six games. He could, though, make a comeback at Swansea on Boxing Day with Salomon Rondon suspended.
Pulis said: “It is the first time I have had to manage this situation. I have been in management a long time, but it is the first time someone has had that opportunity and has not gone and then he has just faded away as much as Saido has. I am not blaming the kid one bit about that, it is just the way it has been.
“Obviously, with the press focusing on what he is going to do and what he is not going to do, it is going to point the gun firmly at him again. He has got to make sure that he gets his head in gear and performs well. You can’t condemn people.”
Tottenham’s offers were heavily clause-based, with their final bid rising to £23million in several instalments, and Pulis still feels Albion could keep the England Under-21 forward.
He said: “I don’t think it is inevitable (he will go). It is up to the chairman and people. If you are buying a house, the buyer has to put the right offer in and the one who is selling has to accept that offer. There is always a price for people and always a price people will go to. But that doesn’t mean the deal is going to be done.”