Long will not be joining Liverpool, insists West Brom boss Clarke

West Brom manager Steve Clarke has rejected recent speculation linking striker Shane Long with a January move to Premier League rivals Liverpool, insisting his striker is “not for sale”.

Following an impressive recent stint as his side’s lone striker which has yielded seven goals so far this season, the Irish forward has been the subject of a number of reports claiming that Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers may be weighing up a January bid.

But Clarke, who was a first team coach at Anfield until the summer, has dismissed the links as unsubstantiated.

“For me it’s lazy journalism,” the Scot told the Birmingham Mail. “Liverpool need a striker and Shane is playing well so a journalist has put it together and tried to make a story out of it.

“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 also backed his summer signing Markus Rosenberg to chip in with goals for the club, despite a difficult debut for the Swedish international in the Baggies in Saturday’s defeat to Stoke City.

“It was a game that was difficult for anyone to shine in,” he added. “He didn’t get many chances. Markus will score goals, for sure, we’ve no doubt about that.”

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