West Brom were linked with a multitude of potential striking options throughout the summer transfer window but they can be glad that they didn’t secure one absolute dud.
According to Joseph Masi at the Express & Star, the Baggies held an interest in signing Rennes forward M’Baye Niang on loan back in September.
It’s claimed that Albion sporting and technical director Luke Dowling’s previous dealings with the Senegalese powerhouse at Watford would’ve helped in a move whilst the player himself was open to returning to the Premier League.
The Midlands outfit eventually signed top target Karlan Grant from Huddersfield Town in a £15m deal and they can count their lucky stars that Dowling didn’t follow through with interest in Niang.
The 25-year-old has always been tipped for big things as a player once compared to Alexandre Lacazette and described as strong, quick and skilful despite being 6 foot 2.
However, he would have also arrived with so much baggage as French football expert Jeremy Smith told the Express & Star that tensions have risen between Niang and the Rennes head coach, following on from high-profile controversies at AC Milan.
Reports in France claimed that the Ligue 1 outfit wanted around €20m (£18m) to let him go, which would’ve been one expensive gamble and a half for West Brom.
He’s also thought to be Rennes’ third-highest earner on £51k-per-week, via Salary Sport.
Since his summer of speculation, Niang has played just one match all season which came on the opening day, playing 64 minutes before being withdrawn. The former Hornets flop then made the bench in the next game, but he has not been seen in any matchday squad after that.
The €30m-rated (£27m) striker would’ve been one disastrous signing for the Baggies, so it was thankfully one massive bullet dodged.