Kirkland set for Baggies

Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland is looking for first-team football for the forthcoming season and now Celtic are offering to give it to him. Kirkland was already lined up for a loan move to West Brom but now Gordon Strachan is trying to tempt the player north of the border.

Assuming Liverpool’s purchase of Villareal’s keeper Jose Reina goes ahead, Kirkland will be one of four quality goalkeepers at Anfield. Kirkland wants to be part of Sven Goran Ericcson’s England plans for next summer’s World Cup and will struggle to get this if he’s not playing regular football. Liverpool are happy to let him spend a season on loan to help him in his wishes, and also to keep him sharp for their own purposes.

The move to West Brom was talked about as soon as the season ended, and Baggies boss Bryan Robson has already spoken of wanting to "borrow" Kirkland.

Celtic are managed by Gordon Strachan now, who was boss at Coventry when Kirkland was there, and the man who gave him his first-team debut. Kirkland is said to still have great respect for his former boss, but feels that a move to the Midlands would be of more benefit. His agent Colin Gordon says that Kirkland’s main concern is ensuring he’s got the visibility that he needs in order to impress the England set-up: "Celtic are pushing really, really hard and Chris still has a very high regard for Gordon Strachan, but Chris feels Albion and The Premiership is the place to be. He is a little concerned Scotland means ‘out of sight, out of mind’. The opportunity for Albion is exciting for him and suits all parties."

Kirkland is another of the many Reds to be getting married this summer, with his ceremony due to take place this weekend, and he is another that will be missing out on a honeymoon. Liverpool’s pre-season training starts tomorrow, but Albion also report back this week and Kirkland wants to be there rather than Melwood to begin a deal that benefits all sides. His agent continued: "Albion get a top quality keeper for a season, Liverpool can see Chris prove his fitness and Chris gets the chance to show everyone what he can do. There will not be a honeymoon. Albion report back next week and Chris is aiming to be there. I’ve spoken to the relevant parties in the last 24 hours and everything is in place for the deal to go through."