Ex West Brom coach Keith Downing says club have to spend more to acquire British talent

A bid for QPR winger Matt Phillips has failed to get off the ground because of a reported difference in opinion relating to his value.

Former West Brom coach and caretaker manager Keith Downing has suggested his old club will have to adjust their spending mentality if they wish to sign the likes of QPR star Matt Phillips, according to quotes in the Birmingham Mail.

Downing was in charge for six games at the Hawthorns a couple of seasons ago after Steve Clarke had been sacked, having been a coach since 2009, and he thought that, although it would be unusual behaviour for chairman Jeremy Peace, the Baggies would struggle to sign UK players unless they considered spending a little over the odds.

“It’s the way of things right now where if you want British players you are having to pay inflated prices and I’m not sure how that can change,” Downing is quoted as saying in the Mail.

“Albion always had plenty of targets but getting them in was sometimes a difficulty.

“Jeremy Peace's strength was his conservatism in what he was prepared to spend. The club never tried to over-spend which is why it was always so well run.”

The Baggies have been closely linked to QPR pair Phillips and Charlie Austin in recent weeks in publications such as the Mail.

Both of those players are likely to cost big money despite coming from a team that was relegated last season, with fees around West Brom's club record of £10 million being mentioned for the winger, and even more for former Burnley forward Austin.

Pulis has of course completed a deal for a player from the British Isles for a much lower fee already this summer, having signed James McClean for just £1.5 million as stated in the Mail.

But acquiring players who have recently been impressing in the Premier League is obviously something Downing thinks the club need to loosen their purse strings a little to be able to do.

Otherwise, the Baggies will be forced to look abroad for talent or try to sign players who aren't in quite such strong form.

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