sport

Derby close in on midfielder

West Brom manager Alan Irvine has confirmed the club are in discussions with Derby over the possible sale of George Thorne.

The Albion midfielder will remain in England while the rest of the squad fly out to America for a pre-season training camp in California.

But Irvine insists the 21-year-old will join his West Brom team-mates should he decide to stay at The Hawthorns.

"The club are in talks with Derby about George and while those negotiations continue it makes sense for him to remain at home," Irvine said.

"However, if no agreement is reached, George will be flown out to join the rest of the group in the US."

Thorne, who signed an improved three-and-a-half-year contract with Albion in January, enjoyed a successful four-month loan spell with Derby last season.

And his consistent performances helped Steve McClaren's team reach the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Since returning to the Midlands, Thorne has spoken of his desire to join Derby on a permanent basis and has handed in two transfer requests - which were turned down.

The Rams have already had two bids for Thorne rejected, but now hope to negotiate terms with the player.

Meanwhile, Stephane Sessegnon will also be absent from the 23-man squad that travels to America as he has been selected for international duty by Benin for Sunday's African Nations Cup qualifier against Malawi.

West Brom will play two friendly matches against Sacramento Republic during their 11-day trip. They will take place at Bonney Field on 21 and 25 July.