Robbo claims Kirkland interest
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
West Brom's Bryan Robson has revealed that he is still keen to sign Chris Kirkland.
West Bromwich Albion manager Bryan Robson has revealed he is keen to sign Chris Kirkland on a permanent basis in spite of injury curtailing the goalkeeper's loan at The Hawthorns.
Tomasz Kuszczak has displaced Kirkland as Albion's first choice keeper in recent months and the 24-year-old is now poised to return to Liverpool after suffering a broken finger in training which has ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
The injury-jinxed Kirkland also suffered a kidney problem last October but, despite being restricted to just 12 first team starts for Albion, Robson has been sufficiently impressed to declare his interest in pursuing a transfer.
"It is really unfortunate for Chris. He went to save a shot in training on Thursday but he knocked his finger back and has got a hairline fracture that will probably put him out for the season," said Robson.
"But we have a real interest in signing Chris permanently at the end of the season. Obviously it depends on our position, what division we are in, and if Liverpool are prepared to do a deal.
"But as far as I'm concerned, even though Chris has had a few unfortunate injuries, I want to sign him. His back in the past has given cause for concern but he has proved that to be fine."
Kirkland could not hide his disappointment at the latest setback which put pay to any lingering hopes the former Coventry keeper had of making England's World Cup squad.
"I am very disappointed and upset - it has ruled me out for the rest of the season and any chance I had for the World Cup which were already slim," said Kirkland.
"I'm not going to be part of the last few games which is very upsetting but I can't do anything with the injury. I'll just have to let it heal but I will comeback from it."
Kirkland will return to Liverpool but, with his future lying away from Anfield, admits should Robson be true to his word in the summer then he would jump at the opportunity to rejoin his former team-mates in the Black Country.
"I'm going back to Liverpool now but I've been told by them that they are going to sell me in the summer," added Kirkland.
"This injury, therefore, has come at a pretty bad time.
"But what I will say is, whoever takes a chance on me in the summer will see how hard I work and how much I want to play.
"It all depends who comes in for me now. Hopefully West Brom will be one of those teams. I've just got to assess all the options open to me and take it from there."