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West Brom Close In On Deal For Belgian Defender

Belgian left back Sebastian Pocognoli could be set for a move to West Brom from Hannover.

West Bromwich Albion are closing in on what could be one of new manager Alan Irvine’s first summer signings, with the Birmingham Mail linking the club with a swoop for Belgian left back Sebastian Pocognoli from Bundesliga club Hannover.

The 28 year-old, who has amassed 12 caps for Belgium but didn’t feature at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has only spent one year in the Bundesliga since arriving from Standard Liege in the Jupiler League, but the Baggies believe that they can snare Pocognoli for around £1 million.

The club have done well picking up otherwise unnoticed bargains in recent years, with the likes of Youssef Mulumbu, Claudio Yacob and Jonas Olsson having arrived for fees that have been made to look like superb deals in recent years.

The club is in some turmoil currently, however, with fans having reacted furiously to the appointment of former Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday manager as the successor to unsuccessful Spaniard Pepe Mel.

The Baggies were somewhat fortunate to escape relegation last season and are likely to start as one of the bookies’ favourites for the drop, so more signings such as Pocognoli will be required for them to avoid a return to the Championship.

Pocognoli initially made his name with Genk in the Belgian league but also enjoyed a successful spell at AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie, although his foray into Germany is his first spell in one of Europe’s established major leagues.

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