West Brom lead the race for Doumbia

Rennes' Tongo DoumbiaWest Bromwich Albion are reportedly leading the race to sign Stade Rennais FC midfielder Tongo Doumbia after the Malian International snubbed interest from Arsenal in favour of a move to the Midlands.

According to The Sun, the midfielder believes he will have more first team opportunities with the Baggies, despite admitting to ESPN it would be less glamourous than joining the North London side. That hasn’t stopped recently appointed manager Steve Clarke making his interest known and he is keen to add him to Albion’s ranks as he looks to mould his new cohorts into a top ten side.

Indications are that any permanent transfer is far from being concluded despite reports in France suggesting the deal is nearing completion. Doumbia is expected to travel to England next week for preliminary discussions after openly admitting he is keen on a move to the top flight.

Still at the relatively young age of 22, the Malian, who is comfortable playing the defensive holding role, appeared 47 times for French side Rennes last season and scored twice. At a height of 6ft 3in he’s expected to bring a combative strength to the Baggies midfield and if a deal can be completed then he will join recent signings Yassine El-Ghanassy and Ben Foster at the Hawthorns.