Baggies set to swoop for Safri

West Brom boss Tony Mowbray is primed to test Norwich's resolve to hang onto midfield dynamo Youssef Safri.

West Brom boss Tony Mowbray is primed to test Norwich's resolve to hang onto midfield dynamo Youssef Safri.

The Baggies' chief revealed yesterday the cash-rich club is closing in on potential targets after pocketing £11.3m from the double departure of Premiership-bound Diomansy Kamara and Jason Koumas.

Mowbray has been strongly linked with a £1.5m summer swoop for Safri - entering the final year of his current Carrow Road deal - and Odense's left-sided midfielder Jonas Borring.

Peter Grant's successful move for French midfielder Julien Brellier last week heightened speculation Safri was set for a Carrow Road exit.

Norwich club officials have so far remained silent on Safri's potential Midlands return. The Moroccan enjoyed an impressive spell with Coventry after arriving from Raja Casablanca in 2001.

“Things are ongoing in quite a few different areas,” said Mowbray. “There may be news later this week or early next week on new signings. The fans should be excited about seeing new players.

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“We've got players we would love to bring in as potential targets. Of course, some of them may fall by the wayside because they have unrealistic demands, or they might not want to play in the Championship, or we can't match the fee. There are a host of reasons why potential deals don't happen. The main thing is the squad needs strengthening. I just want a dressing room full of good players that are all fighting for their jerseys.”

Long time admirer Mowbray admitted earlier this week Safri's combative presence would be a welcome addition to his Premiership promotion battle plan.

“If you're going to win promotion, you need a whole host of players in your dressing room,” he said.

“We'd all love to see Diomansy Kamara or Jason Koumas scoring great goals, but it's about 46 games and hopefully a dozen or so cup matches, plus cold nights away from home in November. So, I'd say, 'don't worry about individuals, it's the team that wins promotion.'

“It's about togetherness, camaraderie and the different talents that each player brings. The warrior is just as important as the artist. Teams are made up of soldiers and artists. You have to get that balance right. I love technical, talented footballers but I also have to try and build a team that wins week in, week out.”

West Brom opened their pre-season campaign last night at Cambridgeshire Conference outfit Histon. Albion fly out on a brief Eastern European tour tomorrow (Thurs 12/7) where they are scheduled to face Hadjuk Split and Red Star Belgrade.