West Brom Lead West Ham in Race to Sign Brighton's Shane Duffy

Aug 10, 2020, 3:00 PM GMT+1
Shane Duffy
Brighton & Hove Albion v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League | Dan Istitene/Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion have held talks with Brighton over a potential transfer for out-of-favour defender Shane Duffy as they prepare for a return to the Premier League.

The 28-year-old only made 14 starts in all competitions last season, and with the recent addition of Joël Veltman from Ajax as well as the return of loanee Ben White from Leeds, Brighton suddenly have an abundance of options in defence.

Shane Duffy
Shane Duffy has endured a difficult season at Brighton | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

With the Republic of Ireland international facing a fight to reclaim his spot in the Seagulls' first-choice XI, he could leave in order to secure regular opportunities next season.

According to the Daily Mail, West Brom have been in contact with Brighton regarding the centre-back. Manager Slaven Bilić views him as the ideal signing to add much-needed top-flight experience, and is said to admire his no-nonsense style of defending.

The Baggies are also exploring moves for Wigan Athletic pair David Marshall and Antonee Robinson following their relegation to League One, but it's understood that Sheffield United is a more likely destination for the latter.

With Nathan Ferguson joining Crystal Palace following the end of the 2019/20 campaign, signing the Irish defender would be shrewd business by West Brom - they now have just three senior centre-backs in Semi Ajayi, Kyle Bartley and Dara O'Shea.

David Moyes
David Moyes is thought to be keen on a reunion with Shane Duffy | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Duffy is also reported to be a target for West Ham, with David Moyes having previously managed him while at Everton. But their transfer budget is said to be heavily constrained, with the club wanting to sell fringe players first before making any acquisitions.

However, there has been limited interest in their squad, with only Albian Ajeti headed for the exit door provided his move to Celtic goes through. As a result, they are thought to be behind the Baggies in the race to sign Duffy.