Chris Baird set for West Brom move

Burnley are expected to miss out on transfer target Chris Baird, having seen Craig Bryson slip through their fingers on Thursday.

By Chris Boden
Monday, 7th July 2014, 10:10 am
Hawthorns bound: Chris Baird is set to sign for Burnleys Premier League rivals West Brom today
Hawthorns bound: Chris Baird is set to sign for Burnleys Premier League rivals West Brom today

Baird is set to sign for West Bromwich Albion, having ended the season with the Clarets, making seven appearances to help see Burnley to promotion to the Premier League, having left Reading in January.

Boss Sean Dyche left the door open for Baird to return after the summer, saying: “His is purely a lifestyle choice. He has been based down south for a long time. He knows that we’re interested in having him with us.

“He’s been in the Premier League a long time, his would not be a financial decision, his would be a family decision.”

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The Northern Ireland international has spent most of his career in the south, and iss expected to secure a switch to West Brom, having held advanced talks ahead of the Baggies returning to pre-season training yesterday.

On Thursday, Derby County midfielder Bryson opted to stay in the Championship with the Rams, who, two weeks ago, turned down an offer from the Clarets for the Scotland international. Derby boss Steve McClaren admitted he thought he had lost the player to Burnley: “We thought we had lost Craig Bryson. I didn’t think we would keep hold of him.”

Bryson explained his decision: “I did speak to Burnley. When a club makes an offer for you and your club gives you permission to go and speak to them, I think you owe the bidding club the respect to go and speak to them.

“But it doesn’t for a minute mean you are going to sign for them. You are just showing them the respect for the time and effort they have put in making an offer for you.”

As Burnley explore fresh avenues, former Republic of Ireland international Steven Reid, released by West Brom, could be reunited with former Millwall teammate Dyche on a one-year deal after talks, while the Clarets will hope that Baird’s arrival at the Hawthorns - giving Alan Irvine further cover at centre back - might mean they are more willing to part with Craig Dawson, after turning down Burnley’s £1m offer for the 24-year-old a month ago.