EXCLUSIVE: West Brom weighing up move for unwanted Stoke man

Matthew Briggs
Tom Ince TEAMtalk

TEAMtalk understands West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic is considering a move for Tom Ince ahead of next month’s transfer deadline.

The newly promoted Baggies are looking at a host of attacking options before the transfer deadline. The international transfer window closes on October 5 at 11pm, but domestic deals with EFL clubs can be done until 5pm on October 16.

That gives Bilic time to make a decision over Stoke forward Ince, who is not in the plans of Stoke boss Michael O’Neill. Ince, 28, has not featured in the three Championship games this season and O’Neill has told him he can leave on loan.

Albion though remain in talks with Huddersfield over striker Karlan Grant, but Bilic is understood to be keen on having as many options as possible heading into the rest of the season.

Old Firm duo Celtic and Rangers have both expressed an interest in Ince, who is under contract with Stoke until 2022. But West Brom will fancy their chances of pipping the SPFL pair to a deal with Premier League football to offer.

Ince was Gary Rowett’s second biggest signing when he signed for £10m from Huddersfield Town in the summer of 2018.

But despite a good record previously in the second tier with Blackpool and Derby he failed to hit those heights at the Stoke Stadium.



He has gradually slipped out of favour under O’Neill with Tommy Smith being used on the right, with new signing Jacob Brown also ahead of Ince in the pecking order.

Krovinovic returns

Meanwhile, West Brom have agreed a deal to bring Filip Krovinovic back to The Hawthorns on a season-long loan from Benfica.

The Croatian played a major role as the Baggies secured promotion last season, scoring three goals in 43 appearances.

And now the midfielder is back, after West Brom completed protracted negotiations with his Portuguese parent club.

Bilic’s Baggies got off the mark for points in their third match back in the Premier League, scrambling a chaotic 3-3 draw with Chelsea on Saturday.

Krovinovic likened his return to the west Midlands to a family reunion.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be back with family,” said Krovinovic.