Baggies interested in Gardner

Baggies interested in Gardner

Published Jan. 14, 2012 1:15 p.m. ET

The former Birmingham player has been suffering from homesickness after moving to the North East last summer and reports have also suggested Wolves are considering a bid.

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill said earlier this week he hoped Gardner, who was signed by Steve Bruce, would stay given his recent form for the resurgent Black Cats.

But transfer talk is gathering momentum and Hodgson is considering the 25-year-old as a possible solution to his injury-ravaged squad.

The West Brom boss said in the Daily Mirror: "He is a very good player, so obviously someone like Craig Gardner becoming available will alert the Midlands clubs or clubs in the near vicinity.


"But it will be a question of price and if there are clubs who think they can afford him.

"I don't think clubs will say, 'he is no good, we don't want him'."

Meanwhile, O'Neill has continued his praise of young left winger James McClean, who has emerged as a star in the making after his full debut in the win over Manchester City on New Year's Day before then scoring against Wigan.

O'Neill said of his fellow Ulsterman: "His emergence has helped enormously. He has the potential to make the position his own.

"I can't think of anyone who has had that sort of impact. He had a great debut against Manchester City, but then he delivered the way he did against Wigan 48 hours later, when he scored. I was expecting him to tire, but he was so strong.

"Is he a special talent or surprise package? There might be a bit of both attached to that. I didn't know anything about him. I am delighted we managed to get him."