Fri, Jan


West Bromwich Albion are hopeful of confirming the signing of midfielder Clint Marcelle today, three weeks after he joined them from Barnsley.

The 31-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international will be given a decision on whether he is to be granted the work permit which will enable him to finally play a match for Albion.

Marcelle, who is a free agent, has so far been refused a permit because of his lack of recent international action.

But Hawthorns secretary John Evans is optimistic Albion might get the green light to play Marcelle after meeting with Home Office officials and representatives of the Football League, Football Association and Professional Footballers' Association in London.

'We presented a case and hopefully it will be successful,' Evans said. 'The fact that he hasn't played in 75 per cent of Trinidad's recent internationals counts against him, but we pleaded extenuating circumstances.

'In our opinion, the reason he hasn't met that criteria is because he was injured before the Copa Caribe Cup last year and missed all five games of the tournament.

'We also had to prove he is an asset to English football and I think he did that during his time with Barnsley.'

If Marcelle is granted a work permit, he could go straight into the side as a replacement for the suspended James Quinn in Saturday's home match against Huddersfield Town.

While Albion await news on that front, skipper Sean Flynn is hoping to convince manager Gary Megson he is worth a new two-year contract - but he will have to wait for a decision.

Albion's 32-year-old midfielder recently rejected a one-year offer and all the indications were that he will be leaving on a free transfer when his agreement expires in the summer.

Megson's arrival, however, has given him fresh hope of finishing his career at The Hawthorns, although the new manager stressed that any contract talks will have to be put on the back burner until Albion have fought their relegation battle.

Mark Angel, Andy McDermott, Graham Potter and goalkeeper Elliot Morris are also out of contract this summer and they, too, will have to wait to see if they are to receive fresh offers.

'Until we know which division we are going to be in, it's a case of muddling through,' Megson said.

'I wouldn't want to make decisions in a short space of time. You have to cut your cloth according to your situation. Hopefully we will stay up, but we might be in the Second Division and it would be crazy to agree First Division contracts in the meantime.'

Flynn, though, is determined to impress his new manager by helping to keep Albion clear of the relegation trap door.

'Everyone knows I want to stay here and I'm hoping that will happen,' he said. 'I've had one brief chat with the manager about it and he seemed quite optimistic.

'But the most important thing at the moment is for me to play well and help Albion to stay up.'