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Friday, April 19, 2013
ESPNsoccernet: April 22, 3:02 AM UK
Clarke hoping for big summer signing

Ian Edwards

West Bromwich Albion head coach Steve Clarke wants owner Jeremy Peace to match his ambition of taking the club into Europe by providing the funds for a big-name signing this summer.

• Clarke would relish Europe

Clarke is determined to keep pushing his side forward after an impressive first season as a manager, and is banking on Peace for some adventurous moves in the transfer market.

The Baggies boss still refuses to give up the prospect of Romelu Lukaku returning for a second season on loan from Chelsea, but is hoping to make the kind of signing in the summer which could help elevate the club to the next level.

Clarke, who paid 3.5 million for Ben Foster last summer following his season on loan from Birmingham, said: "I would like to think we could get one marquee signing. I would like to think we can get one every summer. Last summer we got Ben, who was a big signing for us.

"This year we need to try to find someone else to do as good a job as he did in whichever position we decide we need to make that signing in."

Clarke, though, is not advocating abandoning the prudent model which has allowed Albion to gradually establish themselves in the top flight.

"It's a case of building slowly. It's not a case of going out and signing five, six or seven players on big money. We don't do that as a club," he said.

"I imagine we'll bring in two, three, four or five players for a modest fee but those players will be good enough to improve what we have here."

Clarke has been irritated by reports that Lukaku could join Swansea on loan next season, following his impressive season at The Hawthorns.

Lukaku has stated he would like to experience European football to continue his education, before returning to Stamford Bridge.

And with Swansea in the Europa League next season, thanks to their Capital One Cup success, the Liberty Stadium could prove to be a likely destination for the striker.

Clarke, however, has laughed off reports linking Lukaku with a move to South Wales, and plans more talks with Chelsea before the end of the current campaign

"I think it is idle gossip," he said. "I would be very surprised if he ended up there."

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