New West Bromich Albion boss Tony Pulis is hoping to offload Greek International striker Georgios Samaras and bring in Blackburn’s Rudy Gestede as a replacement, the Daily Mirror understands.
Gestede already has twelve Championship goals to his name so far this season and since moving to England from Metz in France, he has had a positive impact on the second tier of English football.
Samaras was given little opportunity to impress under former Baggies boss Alan Irvine and it seems as though he is going to be overlooked by Pulis as well, who will be looking towards the 6ft 4in Gestede to partner Saido Berahino up front.
Fellow strikers Victor Anichebe and record signing Brown Ideye are two other attacking options for Pulis, but with the duo having only netted three times in over 20 appearances this season, it is unlikely Pulis will be looking towards either of them to get the Baggies out of a relegation dog fight.
Gestede would definitely fit the system that Pulis likes to adopt in the Premier League. A disciplined back four, a strong central midfield and a target man in Gestede up front. The new Baggies boss has been known for this approach in the past and was wrongly criticised for it when he managed Stoke. Peter Crouch was often used as a target man by Pulis at the Britannia Stadium and his brief spell at Crystal Palace saw him use Marouane Chamakh in a similar role.
So the potential signing of Gestede would compliment Pulis’ style of play, with Berahino offering a different option in someone who can play between the lines and flirt with the offside.
Another advantage would be the possible link up play with Berahino, who has somewhat single-handedly carried the Baggies so far this season and has deservedly caught the eye of England’s top clubs. However, with that pressure on his shoulders, inconsistency has begun to creep in. He is still only 21, so of course you cannot expect Berahino to produce week in, week out, which is why Gestede will need to provide goals as well.
The Benin International has only been on the radar for a few months. He was originally part of the Cardiff side who were relegated from the Premier League last season, but after finding his game time limited, Gestede moved on an emergency loan to Blackburn in November 2013 which proved a successful spell.
By January, just over a month after joining Rovers, he signed a permanent deal and since then has scored 24 goals in 44 league games for the Lancashire club.
It is thought that Pulis’ former club Crystal Palace are also interested in the 26-year-old, with new boss Alan Pardew looking to bolster his own attacking options but the main transfer rivals appear to be Hull.
The Tigers are believed to have made a £4m bid for the Blackburn forward according to the Daily Mail, with Steve Bruce another manager looking to steer his side out of a relegation battle.
Gestede is yet to comment on any speculation surrounding his future at Ewood Park, but if a formal bid is made by the Baggies, it would be hard to turn down a Premier League opportunity.