Wigan Athletic is the latest club to join the scramble for West Bromwich Albion’s Zoltan Gera.
The Hungarian’s agent, Sam Stapleton, has described his client’s future as “wide open” and close to being completed. But any lack of clarity surrounding where the midfielder will play next season cannot be attributed to indecisiveness from the Baggies.
They have made a firm and final offer to Gera, which will not change regardless of whether Stapleton can negotiate a better deal with Steve Bruce. Albion manager Tony Mowbray has said he will not break the club’s wage structure in order to keep Gera, which is something that applies to Kevin Phillips and Martin Albrechtsen who are also out of contract in the summer.
Having made offers to all parties, the club will now wait to see if the trio sign or leave on Bosman free transfers. Mowbray said: “We’re not really in the business of letting players check out the rest of the world, then come back with their best offer and looking at us to try and beat it.
“We don’t operate like that.
“It should never be about money for me. They know where we are as a club and they will be offered the best contract this club can offer. “If they want to ply their trade elsewhere for more money then good luck to them.
“Their agents know that and if they want to hawk them around and get a better price and salary package then fine - but we won’t be budging. The squad is what everybody has got to respect - we will not be bursting the bank for any single player.
“I’ve seen it happen before and it can be bad for a dressing room. We won’t be breaking structures and it’s that simple because I want to be fair to the squad and the other players.
“If they get better packages that are out of our ball park then I’d say good luck to them.”
The departures of Phillips and Gera, in particular, would impact heavily on Mowbray’s ambitions in the Premier League but he is glad decisions are imminent.
He added: “Our offers will stay the same - but they can only remain on the table for a certain length of time because we have got to start knowing if we need to fill places.
“I’m not one for giving people deadlines but I’m pleased to hear that in the next couple of weeks they are looking for an answer. Hopefully things will get resolved soon.”