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Thursday, February 7, 2013
Palace want loan deal for Odemwingie

Ian Edwards

Crystal Palace are interested in signing West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie on loan, although Eagles manager Ian Holloway feels the player may be out of their reach.

• Blog: Decisions from the top

Sources at Palace suggest they have been offered the chance to take Odemwingie, 31, until the end of the season, with a view to making the move permanent in the summer.

The Championship club are prepared to use some of the 15 million they received for the sale of Wilfried Zaha to Manchester United to pay West Brom an initial loan fee, with a further fee of around 2 million if they are promoted to the Premier League this season.

However, while Holloway would love to be able to call on Odemwingie's services, he is not getting too excited about his potential arrival at Selhurst Park.

"Someone contacted the chairman. I was asked if I would want him (Odemwingie). I said yes,'' Holloway said. "I don't think he's a realistic target for us personally.''

A major stumbling block for Holloway's side is the estimated 39,000-a-week wages Odemwingie earns at The Hawthorns. The Baggies would have to consider paying part of the striker's salary for the length of the loan period, while it would also weaken head coach Steve Clarke's squad for the remainder of the campaign.

It is also uncertain whether Odemwingie would be prepared to drop down into the Championship, even though he has made it clear he expects to leave West Brom in the summer.

The Nigeria international had his sights set on a major salary boost with his attempted move to join QPR at the end of last month and was in line for a reported 70,000-a-week salary at Loftus Road.

Those kind of figures will be out of the question at Selhurst Park and Odemwingie may be prepared to sit tight at West Brom to see what offers arise in the summer window.

Despite weakening his squad, Clarke needs to find a solution to the Odemwingie problem - caused by his decision to travel to QPR hoping to clinch a move, despite not having permission to talk to Harry Redknapp's side.

His behaviour has been condemned by West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace and Clarke, while the club's supporters held up a banner against Tottenham last weekend, reading: 'Odemwingie out'.

The player himself has been in to training this week but has so far refused to apologise to Peace and the club's board. He is still facing the possibility of a 70,000 fine for his actions and is unlikely to be involved in the squad for Monday's trip to Liverpool.




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