By Nick Ware

13th Jul, 2021 | 3:40pm

Kyle Bartley happy to stay at West Brom amid exit links

West Brom are determined to keep hold of Kyle Bartley this summer amid speculation over his future, according to Joseph Chapman.

Writing for the Birmingham Mail, Chapman addressed reports surrounding the possible exit of the 29-year-old defender.

The Telegraph recently claimed that Crystal Palace and Newcastle United were eyeing up moves for the Englishman, who could be allowed to leave.

However, Chapman looks to have played down that possibility.

He wrote: “It’s understood that the club are intent on retaining the player who finished the season as their captain.

“Bartley’s contract was extended until 2022 towards the end of last season, and it’s believed he’s happy with life in the Black Country.”

Vital

Reports linking Bartley with a £3million move to the Premier League understandably prompted frustration among many West Brom supporters.

This is a player that performed well in the Premier League last season, despite featuring in a side that was relegated in 19th place.

His leadership skills really came to the fore, and he was one of the few players to emerge with any real credit from a dismal season for the club.

With more turnover expected after another managerial change, retaining the services of someone so experienced and talented is vital to keep an element of continuity at the club.

As such, it’s reassuring to hear that a move away looks unlikely this summer, with Albion and Bartley both happy to continue their relationship.

With Valerien Ismael potentially turning to a back three, we can’t afford to lose a central defender with Bartley’s importance.

He could play a key role under the Frenchman this season as we bid to bounce straight back up.

In other West Brom news, Albion are set to issue a major transfer announcement within the next 48 hours.

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