West Bromwich Albion has vowed to keep Peter Osaze Odemwingie until next season if no suitable offer is made for the forward.
Odemwingie will be out of contract at the Hawthorn by August next year and the former Bendel Insurance striker has made no secret of his desire to quit the club he joined from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2010.
The Birmingham Mail reports that the Nigerian international, who will be 32 next month, might have to see out the remainder of his contract at the Hawthorns as no suitable offers are forthcoming.
Albion chairman, Jeremy Peace, is not willing to give the striker up easily but at the same time does not want to compromise the harmony of Steve Clark’s squad, giving that Odemwingie’s Twitter rants earlier this year caused ructions in the Baggies dressing room.
Although Crystal Palace, Swansea and Hull City are linked with the wantaway forward, his age and the controversy he has managed to stem from his January deadline transfer saga to Queens Park Rangers, will inevitably reflect his transfer value.
“We have a player who is under contract until the end of the season,” Peace said of his position on the matter.
“Unless something comes in to change our way of thinking he will be back in pre-season and we will deal with that.
“We took a view at the end of January- not only for the reasons of Peter Odemwingie or Queens Park Rangers, also whichever agents were involved who acted disgracefully, but for the long term of this football club that we have to behave a certain way.
“If we don’t do that they will be knocking on the door. That said, unless we get an offer we’re happy with we won’t sell him.”
On June 17, Odemwingie was a studio guest on BBC 3, while the Super Eagles routed Tahiti 6-1 in Belo Horizonte. Discussing with John Hartson and Kelvin Kilbane the striker was however uncertain of his future even as he has previously hinted that he might try to buy-out the final year of his contract.
“Where you might see me I don’t know, but it looks more like I might leave West Brom, my representatives are in talks with West Brom and most important is I find a manager who will give me playing time, any club that will offer me playing time is what I am looking for,” Peter told BBC 3’s Hartson and Kilbane.
Remaining at the Hawthorn seems like living in the wilderness for the striker. However, the club and player should be ready to deal with that. The bottom-line remains that Albion may let the player leave as a free-agent next summer without having to cash in on him, should the three interested clubs fail to make a suitable offer.
Odemwingie has earned 55 caps and scored 9 goals for Eagles. Many in the country believe he could play one or two roles for the national team, just as he has disclosed his willingness if called upon.