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Real Betis have told West Bromwich Albion that William Carvalho will not be heading to The Hawthorns unless the Baggies agree to an £18 million obligation-to-buy clause, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.

Speaking to talkSPORT on Monday (19 January, 11:00am), Sam Allardyce admitted that, with funds tight, West Brom may be forced to prioritise loan deals over permanent transfers during the final two weeks of the January transfer window.

Carvalho, a Portugal international with a European Championship and a UEFA Nations League winner’s medal around his neck, certainly won’t come cheap.

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Even if Real Betis do agree to let the powerhouse midfielder leave on loan, West Brom would have to splash out eventually.

According to MD, the Premier League strugglers have been informed that they must pay £18 million to sign Carvalho on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

Yet, presumably, this would only apply if Allardyce can emulate Bryan Robson in 2005 and guide West Brom out of the relegation zone.

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28-year-old Carvalho is not the quickest of players but, what he lacks in pace, he makes up for in power.

Standing at 6ft 2ins, the 64-capped star is a granite-carved pillar of strength – the kind of deep-lying enforcer capable of giving some protection to the division’s most porous backline.

That is not to say Carvalho is only effective out of possession. The former Sporting Lisbon star is also a fine distributor, renowned for his raking diagonal passes.

He even scored one of the finest La Liga goals of the season, a thumping volley against Valladolid.

Speaking to Marca over the weekend, however, Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini suggested that Carvalho would prefer to stay at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.

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