Hodgson: Odemwingie will stay

Odemwingie was the Baggies’ leading scorer with 15 goals last

season and has been the subject of speculation linking him with a

move away from The Hawthorns. But head coach Hodgson has seen

positive signs from Odemwingie since returning for pre-season

training that suggest he will be happy to stay. Hodgson said:

“Peter has been excellent in training this week. He sails through

the training when everyone else is fighting hard to do the work. He

seems to do it with relative ease. “He seems very satisfied, very

happy, so I presume the contract discussions are going okay. “Don’t

forget, he does have a contract with the club. These discussions

are to maybe prolong it and reward him for what he did last season.

“It’s not as if he is out of contract but I’m confident the

chairman (Jeremy Peace) and Dan Ashworth (technical director) will

reach an agreement with him. “I shall work on the basis he is a

happy bunny and a West Brom player until that fateful day when

someone tells me he isn’t.” Hodgson added: “I think we should be

pleased our players attract interest. “If we are going to improve

as a team, we need players in our team that other clubs envy and

would like to have. “That for me is a sign your club is moving

forward, when the players you have got are being envied.” Hodgson

believes he is “a maximum of three players” away from having a

squad he will be satisfied and is hopeful midfielder Zoltan Gera

will return on a Bosman transfer from Fulham. Gera spent four years

at Albion before moving to Craven Cottage during the summer of 2008

and is expected to re-sign once he has recovered from Thursday’s

ankle operation. Hodgson said: “I make no secret of the fact Zoltan

is a player I would be very interested in bringing back to West

Brom. “It is where his career began (in the Premier League). I

thought he continued it very successfully at Fulham and, now he is

looking to move on again, it would be great if we can bring him

back to West Brom. “Talks are ongoing. The operation may have

complicated things slightly but I’m still confident that operation

will go well and we will be able to sign him.”