West Bromich Albion close in on Rickie Lambert deal

Liverpool happy to let striker leave after he fails to make impact at Anfield

Rickie Lambert

is expected to finalise a move from


to West Bromwich Albion in the next few days although the clubs have yet to agree a fee for the former England striker.

Lambert joined his boyhood club for £4.5 million (€6.4m) from Southampton last summer but made only 12 starts in all competitions as the dream return to Anfield did not unfold as planned. He was given permission to talk to Aston Villa in January but rejected a proposed £5 million (€7.1m) transfer in order to fight for a place at Liverpool. In the event, the 33-year-old made only two further starts for Brendan Rodgers’ side despite their glaring problems in attack.

Albion have opened talks with Liverpool over the striker's future and are firm favourites to sign Lambert, who has also been linked with Leicester City, Crystal Palace and a possible reunion with the former Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.

Bit-part role

While interest from Spurs would be attractive, Lambert, who admitted his match sharpness suffered from a bit-part role at Anfield, is anxious for regular first-team football after the experience of last season.

Liverpool are keen to recoup their outlay on the England forward, while Albion’s initial valuation is believed to have been around the £3 million (€4.3m) mark. Providing a compromise is reached, Lambert could undergo a medical and move to the Hawthorns within days. He would be Tony Pulis’s third summer signing following James McClean from Wigan Athletic and James Chester, who arrived for £8 million (€11.4m) from Hull City on Wednesday.

Tottenham have announced Romania defender Vlad Chiriches is to join Serie A club Napoli for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old moved to London from Steaua Bucharest for a reported fee of €9.5million euros in August 2013 but struggled to cement a regular first-team spot at White Hart Lane and will now be moved on.

Tottenham said on their official website: “We have reached agreement with Napoli for the transfer of Vlad Chiriches. We wish Vlad every success for the future.” Guardian Service