Kirkland wanted by WBA – if they stay up

Bryan Robson says he can’t make any decisions on the future of Chris Kirkland until West Brom’s own future is known. The Baggies are fighting relegation and Robson says if they fail then Kirkland will be out of their reach. Robson said: “As a manager I would love to keep Chris here but it’s going to be down to circumstances and which division we are in next season. Obviously the wage budget is different between the Championship and the Premiership. But if I could do a deal with Liverpool, Chris and his agent, I would be interested.”

The former Manchester United midfielder is not going to even bother discussing the issue with the Reds though until they are either relegated or saved: “Until we know where we are going to be there’s no point in talking to Liverpool.” At least Robson was willing to say how much he’s been impressed by Kirkland, who has been hit by more of his bad luck during his season long loan at West Brom. Robson said: “I have been impressed with Chris and he was unlucky to get his kidney problem when he did after doing well in the first half of the season. Then he broke his finger which can happen to anyone. To have Tomasz and Chris at West Brom, both of whom are only in their mid 20s, and have them developing together would be ideal.”

Kirkland himself was quick to defend himself against the reputation that sees him labelled as nothing other than injury prone: “I have been unlucky with injuries at West Brom but have proved that whatever club signs me will not be taking on a crock next season. There were question marks placed over my back which I had problems with over the previous couple of years but it has not been an issue at all this season.”

Liverpool may be happy to let Kirkland move on, but the nonsense about captain Steven Gerrard heading to Real Madrid was quickly dismissed today by Rafael Benitez. Madrid’s director of football Benito Floro used Gerrard in an attempt to win himself favour at the Spanish club, and the English press enjoyed the opportunity to stir up trouble ahead of Liverpool’s latest clash with Chelsea at the weekend. Rafa couldn’t make it any clearer – none of his hidden meanings in his simple statement: “He’s not for sale. The situation is very clear. Steven Gerrard is not for sale.”