Tony Pulis has reiterated his desire for striker Saido Berahino to agree a new contract at West Bromwich Albion. The 22-year-old attracted headlines last weekend after seeing not one but two penalties saved by goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes during a disappointing 1-0 Premier League defeat to Watford at The Hawthorns.
Such an episode served to compound what has been a difficult season for academy graduate Berahino, who notched 20 goals in all competitions last term before attracting sustained interest from Tottenham Hotspur. The fallout from that ugly saga, during which he submitted a written transfer request and later threatened to go on strike, left his future subject to considerable doubt. The former England U21 international has scored just four times in 16 top-flight starts in 2015-16.
Berahino's current deal is due to expire next June and Pulis is eager for him to sign an extension, despite the animosity caused by that botched exit. As quoted by the Express and Star prior to Thursday's (21 April) trip to Arsenal, he said: "I'd like him to sign a new contract. But whether we'll get that or not, we'll have to wait and see. I haven't spoken to anyone about it. That's just my personal opinion."
Tottenham were certainly persistent in their pursuit of Berahino, making four offers in total including two in the final hours of deadline day. Those tactics drew a furious response from stubborn West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace, who claimed that none of those bids came close to reflecting his value at such a late stage of the window and that the player had been "very unsettled by antics designed to get him out of our club cheaply".
Mauricio Pochettino's second-place side have gone from strength to strength since then, sitting five points adrift of leaders Leicester City with four games remaining thanks partly to another significant haul from top scorer Harry Kane. Spurs were linked with a move for Berahino once again in January as rival interest built from the likes of Stoke City, Newcastle United and two or three other suitors, but Pulis is unsure if they will resume their chase once again this summer.
"I don't know – I haven't got a clue," he added. I wouldn't second guess anything, I don't think it's right for me to second guess, but I'm sure if they do then they'll get the same response from Jeremy. It's got to be the right deal. If it's the right deal for the football club, he'll speak to the board. He'll be the sole person who'll decide that."