Clarke has no intentions of allowing Shane Long to leave West Bromwich Albion in the January transfer window.
The West Bromwich Albion head coach has dismissed speculation suggesting Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is preparing a £12 million bid for the Republic of Ireland striker.
Clarke will be allowed to keep Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku for the remainder of the season, after Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez announced he has no intentions of cutting short the 19-year-old’s loan spell.
And Long, who is the club’s top scorer this season with seven goals in 16 appearances, will be remaining at the Hawthorns, despite rumours suggesting Rodgers wants to link up again with the striker he worked with during his spell at Reading.“Liverpool need a striker, Shane is playing well, so a lazy journalist puts it together and makes a story out of it," Clarke told the Birmingham Mail.
“Shane is not for sale. And I'd be very surprised if Brendan Rodgers wanted to take Shane anyway. People are merely looking at connections and making stories out of it.”Clarke is more concerned with controlling a sickness bug which has infected the club’s training ground ahead of the weekend game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Yassine El Ghanassy was forced to sit out West Brom U21s victory over Bolton while a number of other first team players have also been struck down.“Yassine is sick, we've had a sickness virus at the club. Boaz Myhill was also sick last week. He didn't travel with us to Swansea. He actually came down on the day of the game. Billy Jones was also sick overnight on Friday - he wasn't even in the stadium - and now Yassine is unwell,” said Clarke.
Albion have revealed Ben Foster is recovering well after a second groin operation in the space of two weeks and are hoping he will be able to return to action after the Arsenal game, with Clarke saying: “ Ben is improving (from his operation) which is good news for us. We will see how he gets on.”